by Legacy Collective 100 Lives Impacted Austin, Texas, United States
Initiative Description:The Settlement Home for Children (The Home) was founded in 1916 by 12 women who set out to serve local children. Our mission...
The Settlement Home for Children (The Home) was founded in 1916 by 12 women who set out to serve local children. Our mission is to promote healing and growth in children, young adults and families by providing a continuum of care, support and resources. We serve individuals who have experienced severe emotional trauma, abuse and neglect.
One of The Home’s flagship programs is the Transitional Living Program (TLP), which provides efficiency apartments on campus for young women 18 and older who are not quite prepared to live on their own. The TLP offers an innovative alternative to aging out of foster care. Our staff guides residents to independence as they pursue secondary education, gain and maintain employment and master the life skills that lead to long-term well-being and success.
According to the National Foster Youth Institute:
• 20% of youth in foster care experience homelessness when they turn 18.
• 70% of women who age out of foster care become pregnant before the age of 21.
• Only 50% of youth who age out of foster care have gainful employment by the age of 24.
• There is less than a 3% chance for youth who age out of foster care to earn a college degree.
Because of their histories of abuse, the challenges our residents face are even greater. To help residents overcome these barriers, we provide resources such as therapy, case management and connection to mentors. Staff and mentors support for our young women as they move through the healing and growth process. When a resident leaves the TLP, our staff ensures that she secures safe and stable housing.
The TLP serves up to 11 residents at a time. We provide housing and cover partial costs for food, activities and household and hygiene items. The state provides tuition waivers for state-funded schools.
Funding from Legacy Collective would help cover education and employment related costs: school supplies, books and lab fees; work and interview clothes, job licenses/ certifications, cell phones and rideshare credits. Many residents work in food service and often get out of work late when public transportation is either unavailable or unreliable. Because our population is a target for sex trafficking, rideshare would ensure residents get home safely.
For TLP residents, this period of transition is an exciting time in their lives, as they gain momentum in building for their futures. Support from Legacy Collective would provide vital support and resources as our young women reach their life goals.
The TLP’s Impact on Young Women Who Are Survivors of Abuse:
• The TLP serves approximately 20 young women each year. Residents typically stay for about two years before they move out on their own. The size of our program enables us to provide individualized attention and maintain meaningful connection with residents.
• Stable Residence – Upon leaving the TLP, residents have a safe and secure place to live. In 2019, the TLP provided care for 21 young women; nine residents transitioned out, 100 percent of whom moved to stable housing.
• Education – Residents enroll in college or vocational school and attend full time or part time. Our staff helps residents navigate the application and enrollment process, which can be a significant barrier for first-time college students. Staff also work with school administrators to ensure residents are on track to graduate.
• Employment – Residents work part time or full time. Staff and mentors help residents apply to jobs, prepare for interviews, and motivate them to maintain consistent employment.
• Therapy and Case Management – Residents receive case management to ensure they are prepared for independence. Residents also receive therapy on an individual basis. Staff members check in with residents at least once a week to ensure their well-being.
• Independent Living Skills – Residents prepare to live on their own by establishing healthy habits and life skills: budgeting, grocery shopping, cooking and taking public transportation. Each resident pays rent with a portion of her monthly income, and the rent money is placed in a savings account for her to use when she leaves the TLP.
• Identification Documents – Residents procure driver’s licenses, birth certificates and social security cards, which are required for school and employment. Transitioning out of foster care without these documents presents significant barriers to success.
• Mentors – Residents connect with at least one adult in the community who provides guidance after they move out on their own.
• Aftercare Services – The TLP continues to provide services to residents after they leave our care.
We have found that when a young woman leaving the TLP has a mentor, identification documents and is employed or enrolled in post-secondary education, she has a higher chance of success in maintaining steady employment and a stable residence.
As the young women in the TLP work with staff to heal and grow, they learn what it takes to thrive in the community.
Location: Austin, TX, USA
Total Funding Requested: $25,000
Funding Date Requirement: 3/30/2021
Prior Funding Through Legacy Collective: None
Nonprofit Name: Settlement Home for Children
Nonprofit Website: https://www.settlementhome.org/