Rosie experienced homelessness for three years. She had been in the foster care system since she was seven years old, and didn’t have a permanent support system until last year, when Foster Success became the shoulder she needed to lean on.
Now, the 19-year-old Portage resident has an apartment of her own, a steady job, and is learning to navigate adulthood one step at a time. She has engaged with every impact area and participated in virtually every program we offer. But one in particular was a lifeline during her time of need – our Basic Needs program.
We launched our emergency fund during the pandemic, but found that the need has not eased, even as much of the country has resumed many normal activities, including returning to work and school. Emergencies happened before the pandemic and they continue to happen today. We receive emergency requests on a regular basis to help with basic needs such as housing, utilities, food, and transportation. Last year, we provided more than $53,000 in emergency funds to 145 young people.
“When you’re living paycheck to paycheck, a flat tire — a $200 fix — could be the difference between someone keeping their job and being unemployed, or maintaining housing and becoming homeless,” said Angel Crone, Director of Health & Well-Being. “We don’t want that to ever be the case for a young person. We want to be able to support them so they can have stable, healthy, successful lives.”
Rosie is just one of the young adults you have provided support for so they may reach self-sufficiency.
“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,” Rosie said.
She was recently recognized as the Indiana Youth Advisory Board’s New Member of the Year, a title she takes seriously. Her goal is to help other young people in similar situations realize they’re not alone either.
“Life hits you and you don’t have a choice but to grow up. It means so much to be able to look back and everybody be like, dang, you’re not the girl we used to know, you have so much going for you,” she said. “Just put your mind to it and try to do as much as possible.”