Thousands of foster kids who age out of the program end up homeless each year, but a new federal initiative is designed to help them make the transition by helping youth afford stable housing.
The nationwide Foster Youth Independence initiative, a new Housing and Urban Development program, is designed to help youth aging out of foster care transition into independence by helping offset some of their housing costs. The Garfield County Housing Authority is one of the first two in the country to take on the program.
“About 20,000 youth age out of foster care each year,” Evelyn Lim, HUD regional administrator said in an announcement earlier this week.
Of those 20,000, 25% will be homeless during their first four years on their own, estimates the National Center for Housing and Child Welfare. A much higher percentage will be “precariously housed,” Lim said.
K.T. Gazunis, executive director of the Garfield County Housing Authority, thanked the HUD staff who made the trip to Western Colorado, as well as HUD Secretary Ben Carson, who grew up in public housing and became a brain surgeon at Johns Hopkins.
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