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Current market rate rent is affecting everyone, especially those most vulnerable.

Youth who have emancipated from the foster care and probation system are most prone to incidences of poverty and homelessness. Youth between the ages of 18-24 years old currently involved or who participated in extended foster care services have their possibilities of personal success bolstered and positively impacted later on in life.

The effectiveness of extended foster care was challenged and studied at Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago by Professor Mark E. Courtney along with other colleagues. His interest with the improvement of child welfare services have led to demonstrate positive outcomes of youth’s involvement with extended foster care services in several of their life domains such as education, employment, physical and mental health, and, of course, housing.

According to the study conducted by the professors at the University of Chicago (chapinhall.org/research/calyouth-wave3), California holds the largest population number of foster youths in the nation and a current challenge for foster youth encounter is finding safe and affordable housing. This limits their opportunities to thrive and puts them at risk of homelessness, couch surfing, or utilizing shelter services.

Through all the multiple challenges they are faced to successfully transition to adulthood there is still hope for success and programs in place to assist foster youth better address their needs.

In Napa County, PLACES is a housing program for youth eligible for transitional housing. The program is currently accepting youth who either emancipated from the foster care system or probation at 18.

The PLACES program provides housing subsidies for 24 months with the purpose of assisting youth become financially stable. With the support of life skills coaching youth will also gain interpersonal skills to help them reach personal goals and independence.

If you or someone you know could benefit from continued services after foster care contact the PLACES office to learn more at (707) 255-3716.

Yajaira Urena

Napa

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