New program to help keep former foster children from homelessness

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The Alabama Department of Human Resources announced a new partnership to help keep people who were in foster programs from homelessness. The Alabama Department of Human Resources announced a new partnership to help keep people who were in foster programs from homelessness.

The new partnership is called the “Foster Youth to Independence" Program. It’s aimed at helping young adults find a place to live. State and federal officials met Tuesday to sign the program.

The initiative is an on-demand voucher program through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The program is aimed at helping individuals who have aged out of the foster care system and are at risk of being homeless.

There are some requirements. Participants must be between 18 and 24 years old, they must have been in the foster care system or leaving it within 90 days, and they must be homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

Officials say there are thousands across the country who fit this description, and now they can help those in Alabama in this situation with guidance, direction, and a place to live.

“With those wrap-around services, it not only gives them a place to live, but it teaches them and gives them tools to be able to sustain themselves as they go forward,” said Denise Cleveland-Leggett, the regional administrator of HUD.

“We just see it as an incredible opportunity to take those young people who are out of care who are struggling with stable housing and help them out and to give them some stability in where they’re going to live,” said Bill Benson with DHR.

Officials with 10 state housing authorities were there to sign the initiative Tuesday. Leaders hope the rest in the state will join in on the program.

DHR has applications available for the “Foster Youth to Independence” Program now. To access the application, visit this link.

For more information about the program, visit this http://dhr.alabama.gov/services/Foster_Care/Documents/Foster%20Youth%20to%20Independence%20Program%20Fast%20Facts.pdf.

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