Foster children are legally required to leave foster families as they turn 18 years of age, often ending up in homeless shelters and caught in a downward spiral of substance abuse.
“Your generous support will allow 21 beautiful women to now have a home,” said Executive Director Margaret Mitchell. Two hundred young adults drop out of foster care each year in Ohio, “Now no one will be left in the gap,” she said.
Planning for the program began four years ago and renovation of YWCA headquarters began to accommodate 23 efficiency apartments. The facility is energy efficient and fully equipped with kitchen, laundry facilities, common areas, and play rooms.
Mitchell said residents are assigned case managers who facilitate independent living skills through YWCA’s Nurturing Independence & Aspirations program. “Many need help obtaining their GED,” she said, but soft skills like housekeeping, financial checks and balances are also taught. All residents have spent time at a homeless shelter more than four times in the last year.
The facility is not a temporary solution but designed as a transitional home, preparing residents for a stable brighter future.
Foster children suffer more post traumatic stress than soldiers returning from war; and Independence Place ensures mental health care is accessible to residents for counseling. “It is a commitment many of our residents will have to make for life,” she said.