HUD and Alabama Kick-off Foster Youth to Independence Initiative
HUD Southeast Region Administrator Denise Cleveland-Leggett recently joined State of Alabama Department of Human Resources Commissioner Nancy T. Buckner and public housing authority executive directors as they signed memorandums of agreement kicking off HUD's Foster Youth to Independence (FYI) initiative that targets housing assistance and supportive services for youth aging out of foster care who are at-risk-of or experiencing homelessness.
"With those wrap-around services, it not only gives them a place to live, but it teaches them and gives them tools to be able to sustain themselves as they go forward," said Denise Cleveland-Leggett, the regional administrator of HUD.
"We just see it as an incredible opportunity to take those young people who are out of care who are struggling with stable housing and help them out and to give them some stability in where they're going to live," said Bill Benson with DHR.
During the program Tydeesha Harris was also recognized for being the first Foster Youth to Independence recipient in the state as well.
There are currently 6,350 youth in foster care in Alabama with nearly 500 youth between the ages of 18 and 20 and approximately 140 youth between those ages leaving foster care each year.
Executive Directors with 10 state housing authorities signed the initiative to be a participant in the initiative and were enthusiastic that other housing authorities in the state will also participate in the program.
In January, HUD Secretary Ben Carson awarded nearly $500,000 to the FYI Initiative and in February an additional $258,606 in funding for HUD's new Foster Youth to Independence (FYI) Initiative was awarded.
FYI is an important new strategy aimed at helping communities reach the federal goal of preventing and ending youth homelessness outlined in Home Together: The Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness (www.usich.gov/resources/uploads/asset_library/Home-Together-Federal-Strategic-Plan-to-Prevent-and-End-Homelessness.pdf). FYI and the partnership of local PHAs, PCWAs, and Continuums of Care (CoC), will assist communities in ensuring that every young person who has had experience with the child welfare system has access to safe, affordable housing where they are supported to reach self-sufficiency by working toward their education and employment goals. More information on FYI is available on the Tenant Protection Vouchers for FYI Initiative page.
Alabama Human Resources has FYI information and applications available (https://dhr.alabama.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Foster-Youth-to-Independence-Program-Fast-Facts.pdf) regarding the "Foster Youth to Independence" Program.
|Content Archived: January 31, 2022|