Sunday, June 13, 2010
Today I attended the launching of Alice's House along with the opening of California Lutheran University's new Community Counseling and Parent Child Center. I was invited by David Friedlander the Executive Director of Kids & Families Together. The event was held at the President of the university, Chris Kimball, residence. Another former foster youth who is now 22 years old and myself were asked to speak about the challenges facing young women who have been in the foster care system and how important it is to have a supportive and stabilizing influence beyond the system.
I believe in programs such as this and will continue to support them along my journey in life. It saddens me to see young adults capping out of the system with nothing but the clothes on their backs and being forced to survive on their own. This is why so many of them turn to drugs, gangs, and crime to find a way in life. Many follow in the footsteps of their parents and commit the same acts, they live off the system, and for that the system has failed them! We all have got to step up to the plate and help. Please look into transitional housing programs in your area and please choose to support them. These young adults deserve the right to a future just like everyone else.
A LITTLE ABOUT ALICE McGRATH
Alice McGrath was a celebrated, internationally known social justice and human rights activist who recently passed away at the age of 92. Alice's daughter, Laura D'Auri, is keeping Alice's spirit with us by offering Alice's last residence in Ventura as a home for young women who have aged out of the foster care system. Alice's not-for-profit neighbor, Kids & Families Together, will provide project management and oversight.
The vision of Alice's House is to be a safe and stable boarding style home that will provide individualized services and supports to maximize the opportunities for young women from the foster care system to grow, thrive and become self sufficient.
Alice's House will accommodate three young women and a live-in Resident Advisor who will provide case management and mentoring.