Foster Success has introduced new resources to help young adults transitioning out of foster care meet their basic needs and has created a new position, a Basic Needs Coordinator, to oversee this work. The Basic Needs Coordinator helps solve immediate needs through an emergency fund, dives into the underlying causes of the emergency, and provides support and connection to resources to increase personal and financial stability.
We launched our emergency fund during the pandemic but found that the need has not eased – even as much of the country has resumed most normal activities and gotten back to work. We still receive emergency requests on a regular basis to help with basic needs such as housing, utilities, food, and transportation.
“The Basic Needs resources are designed to take our emergency fund a step further so we can support young people in getting connected to services and building long-term stability in their lives,” said Angel Crone, Foster Success Director of Health and Financial Wellness. “There are a lot of services out there, but the hard part is knowing where they are, how to access them and how to navigate those social support systems. We will help them make those connections and guide them along the way.”
Basic Needs Assistance
The emergency fund is truly a lifeline.
“When you’re living paycheck to paycheck, a flat tire — a $200 fix — could be the difference between you keeping your job and keeping your housing,” Crone said. “We don’t want that to ever be the case for a young person. We want to be able to support them so people can sustain and have healthy, successful lives.”
Rosie Ferguson-Walton is one of the young adults who has gotten help with basic needs from Foster Success. The 21-year-old Portage student received emergency funds to pay for groceries and her cell phone bill. The emergency help was invaluable, she said.
“It took a lot of pressure and stress off my chest because I knew I wasn’t doing it alone and I knew I had all the help I needed,” Ferguson-Walton said.
She is about to move into her first apartment and is in the process of graduating from high school. She’s now enrolled in the organization’s Opportunity Passport™ program to learn more about money management and try to avoid financial shortfalls in the future. She has an entrepreneurial spirit and hopes to open a daycare or become a wedding or portrait photographer.
Our New Employee
Andrea Stokes joined the team as the new Basic Needs Coordinator. She attended Tuskegee University and received her B.A. in History. In 2020, she attended Columbia University through the HBCU Fellowship Program and earned her M.S. in Nonprofit Management.
The program will provide one-on-one help and connect the young people with other organizations for support, Stokes said.
“We’re not just simply saying this other organization offers this, but we’re trying to build that relationship between the young person and that organization,” she said. “That way the young person won’t just feel like they were pushed toward a lot of resources but had no idea how to start or what that process toward assistance would look like for them.”
This fiscal year, Foster Success has already helped about 145 young people through its Emergency Fund. The organization expects to help up to 200 through the fund by June 30.
If you would like to contribute to the Foster Success Emergency Fund, you can donate today!