Multi-agency Initiative Targets Youth Aging Out of Foster Care
Glendale, Ariz. – The city of Glendale officially announces the launch of the “Foster Youth to Independence (FYI) Initiative.” This Federal-local partnership is aimed at stopping homelessness for one of the most vulnerable youth populations, those aging out of the foster care system. It is estimated that almost 25-thousand youth age out of foster care each year, and of those, close to 25% experience homelessness within 4 years. Launched a little more than a year ago, the “Foster Youth to Independence Initiative” looks to break the cycle of homelessness before it even begins.

Today, Glendale Mayor Jerry P. Weiers was joined by members of the City’s Community Services Department, US Department of Housing and Urban Development Regional Administrator Christopher Patterson, state administrators from HUD and Mike Faust, Director of the Arizona Department of Child Safety to highlight the program.

“Partnerships are critically important and the ‘Foster Youth to Independence Initiative’ shows how multiple agencies, thinking creatively, can tackle major problems,” says Glendale Mayor Jerry P. Weiers. “This program not only addresses the issue of homelessness; it gives foster youth a solid foundation on which to build productive and successful lives.”

HUD Regional Administrator Christopher Patterson understands the challenges faced by youth in the foster care system, having spent much of his own childhood in foster care. “Thanks to this partnership between HUD and the city of Glendale, under Mayor Weiers’ leadership, the future looks bright for former foster youth in the city,” says Patterson. “With nearly 7-million-dollars in investments to-date, HUD’s Foster Youth to Independence program has helped and housed more than 800 young adults in 31 states and 91 communities.”

Also attending today’s announcement was 19-year old Precious Roman, Glendale’s first recipient of an FYI Initiative voucher. “I went from one friend’s house to another friend’s house after leaving foster care,” says Roman. “It was scary. I just wanted stability and this program allows me to have a place to call home and feel safe.”

The vouchers help cover rental expenses for program participants. Roman is one of 25 young adults to receive vouchers in Glendale and among the more than 800 nationally to be helped after leaving foster care with no place to call home, replacing fear with hope.

If you or someone you know is aging out of foster assistance, you can find more information and fill out an application at: Questions can also be sent to [email protected]