Did you know that after a young adult exits the foster system 20% are homeless? Half will be incarcerated within the first 2 years. Half will be jobless by age 24. This is not a surprise when you find out they are coming from harsh, abusive, or neglectful home settings.

One young man described his childhood as living in a box with his 4 brothers while his parents would collect their check every 2 weeks and then disappear leaving them hungry and needing to fend for themselves. Another young woman survived by visiting local quickie markets, asking for boxes, saying the family was moving. Carefully putting the smaller box in the large box she would sneak bread and any food between the boxes as she walked out of the store.

These struggling young adults need your help. We need volunteers for short-and long-term mentoring to assist with budgeting/opening a bank account, how to cook, driving practice, studying and more. Although financial donations are great, we also need household items. Finally, we depend on partnerships with establishments for potential job opportunities and apprenticeships. Our nonprofit uses 100% of your donations towards programs or material goods for these young adults. All administrative costs are covered by the founders.

I am Ginny Paulsen, an Occupational Therapist, and founder of Foster Your Future, along with my husband. When getting close to turning 60 I decided I needed to give back and volunteered in a couple group homes. I wondered what became of these young adults that aged out of the system. I was saddened to hear that they had little support to become independent adults. They are given a couple bus tickets, clothing that fits in a duffel bag, pocket money, and are set off to conquer the world. Most do not have the critical documents of a state ID or social security card required to secure a job.

With each young adults one-year commitment a mentor is put in place. From the beginning, we make sure they have all credentials needed to work including Social Security card, birth certificate and state identification. We always focus on them keeping their job. We help them with housing, household furnishings, money management, cooking and cleaning. Once they have established a routine we concentrate on career goals. All the while we have them studying for the written driver’s test. Once they have passed, we provide an intense on the road driving schedule which can last up to three months with volunteers driving with them at least two times a week.

With no family to depend on, Foster Your Future becomes their family. This ensures their success, so these young adults can become stable and live fulfilling lives as they contribute to our society. Call me if you have any interest in helping these young adults 602-478-5850.


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