I have written a few times about the problem with children aging out of the foster care system and never getting a solid foundation upon which to build the rest of their life. As we all know, this leads to many former foster kids ending up homeless, or in jail, or doing things that will probably land them in jail if they haven't been caught yet. I would venture to guess in almost all cases they were good kids whose only crime was that they were born into a family that was unable to properly care for them.
There are a couple of places that have started new programs for kids who "age out" and some of them have been very successful. There is an article today in the San Francisco Chronicle.
There was no byline, so I am unable to give proper credit here to a writer.
In any event, it is about a group of former Foster Children who ""Aged" out of the system and formed an organization called VOICES (Voice Our Independent Choices for Emancipation Support). This organization provides washers so that kids have a place to come and do their laundry. Is this important? well I remember loving to come home from college and having a place to do my laundry (actually, I was lucky enough to have a mom that did it). They have a wardrobe with business clothes they can provide for job interviews. They also can cook a meal, or find someone who knows where they are coming from to talk to. This program has been so successful that they are opening a second office today. They are run totally on donations and right now are looking for computers so they may set up a computer center.
If you would like to get additional information, or better yet, make a donation you can contact VOICES at
http://www.voicesyouthcenter.org/. The phone number for the Santa Rosa center is (707) 579-4327. Its mailing address is 335 College Ave., Santa Rosa, CA, 95401.
If you would like to read the article you can find it here: