U.S. (KOLR) — Approximately 20,000 teens age out of the foster care system each year. A quarter of these teens end up homeless soon after.
federal officials are stepping in to try and solve this issue.
“I feel like this is the first time in my life that I have, like, the peace and the, like, room to kind of forgive myself, and to… to, like, grow a little bit,” said Heidi Seabrook, aged out of the foster care system.
A new federal housing initiative called “Foster Youth to Independence” is helping young adults like Heidi Seabrook, who lives in Colorado, with their rent.
Participants typically pay 30% of their income towards rent and the program covers the rest.
So far, more than 2 million dollars have gone to help out nearly 250 former foster children.
“Everything that is in my life, I feel like I allow it to be in my life, and everything that’s in my house, I allow it to be in my house,” Seabrook said. “And, you know, it’s really given me a sense of peace that, you know, this is a really safe place for me.”
The idea for the program actually came from foster kids themselves.
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Ben Carson, says it’s already been a big success and will be adding more money to that program.