Foster Success Helping Ensure Those Transitioning Out of Foster Care Are Housed 

Apr 22, 2024 | Financial Empowerment, Health & Well-Being

INDIANAPOLIS – On average, 25 percent of teens and young adults who have experienced foster care will become homeless within four years of aging out or being emancipated from the foster care system. Foster Success is combating this statistic by offering programs to help this population build credit, save money for the first month’s rent or a housing down payment, and gain financial literacy. April is National Fair Housing Month and National Financial Literacy Month.

Foster Success offers a variety of Financial Empowerment programs to help prevent homelessness among those exiting the foster care system:

  • Opportunity Passport™ helps participants manage their finances, save and access matching funds for housing or other assets.

  • Online Financial Modules teach the basics such as banking, budgeting, consumer skills and insurance.

  • Credit Build allows participants to save $300 while building their credit score. Improved credit scores help participants secure stable housing.

Elizabeth is one of the young adults who was supported by the Financial Empowerment programs. She raised her credit score by more than 100 points in a year to 700 through the Credit Build program. She was able to buy a house recently in Milltown, Indiana, about 30 miles from Louisville.

“I had no clue why having good credit was so important and I had no clue how to get to that point,” said Elizabeth. “I didn’t have anyone to teach me or explain things like that to me. It was very difficult to get approved for things.”

“The way to ensure that teens and young adults exiting the system are housed is through financial education and support,” said Foster Success President and CEO, Dr. Maggie Stevens. “These young people often don’t have family members that can help them navigate the challenges of securing housing. That’s where our organization comes in to help them understand the process, provide financial education, and even help them earn matching funds for sustainable housing.”

In the last fiscal year, Foster Success supported 387 young people through its Financial Empowerment programs and distributed $135,000 to young people who successfully completed the Financial Empowerment programs.

Foster Success also helps provide Basic Needs support. From 2022- 2023 Foster Success supported 64 young people across the state in maintaining their housing and supported 71 young people across the state in maintaining their basic utilities like electricity, water, and phones.

“It helped me by paying my rent when I couldn’t and so I can have a place to live and have enough time to get a chance to be able to pay it on my own when I get a job,” said one young person supported by the program.

Foster Success also began a partnership with the Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership in late 2023, which allows the organization to refer participants in Marion County to their Housing Opportunity programs, allowing young people more chances to be successful renters and eventual homeowners.

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