Preparing Youth For Self-Sufficiency
When youth emancipate from foster care, it is critical that they have secured the necessary support systems that allow them to thrive and be responsible for their own care. Aspiranet’s Transitional Housing Program Plus (THP Plus) brings needed services through collaborations with private businesses and community resources/agencies. These affiliations link youth to services and provide them support related to housing, job placement and training, educational enrollment and other services, guiding the youth to self-sufficiency.
It is estimated that about 4,000 of California’s youth who are in foster care or juvenile probation, emancipate each year. These young people are expected to have a place to live, find a job, provide for their own basic necessities, secure transportation and expand their education as soon as they turn 18 years old. While some are prepared and continue to have support from family members, former foster parents or mentors, many do not. Without continued support, far too many youth leave foster care to become homeless, unable to continue their education or sustain themselves appropriately.
Transitional Housing Program Plus is a transitional housing support program. It was developed to help youth, aged 18-24, moving from foster care to be self-sufficient. The goal of the program is to provide a safe living environment while helping youth to achieve self-sufficiency so that they can learn life skills. Case Managers assist in finding acceptable housing, employment, GED completion or enrollment into higher education or trade schools. This allows the youth to know how to care for themselves and be productive citizens. The community support for these programs enhances the strength of the success of these youth, by providing opportunities to work, live and provide household items that most youth receive from family when setting up their first household.
Eligibility and Referral Process
THP Plus eligible youth are young adults who have emancipated from foster or probation care and are 18-24 years old. Each county has various eligibility requirements for past enrollment in Independent Living Programs while in care. Lastly the youth must be pursuing goals in the areas of education, vocational training, or employment.
The maximum time for THP Plus participation is 24 cumulative months.
Referrals can come from County Social Workers/Probation Officers, ILP Staff, or the youth themselves.
Referrals will be reviewed by Aspiranet THP Plus who will then contact the youth to set up an interview to complete the application process.
Once approved, the youth are notified right away with a timeline for enrollment into the program, subject to availability.
Aspiranet THP Plus is currently providing apartment living situations in which the youth will be sharing a two bedroom apartment with a roommate. In addition to this housing opportunity the youth will receive the following supportive services:
- Comprehensive case management
- System of payment for utilities/telephone and graduated rent program
- Job readiness training and support
- Food and necessity allowance
- Educational advocacy and support
- Assistance in pursuing college or other post-high school training
- Individual and group therapy
- Services to build and support relationships with family and community
- Coordination with the Independent Living Program
- Apartment furnishings and household Items
- 24-hour crisis intervention and support
- Emancipation fund
- Post-program housing assistance
- Alumni services
- Transportation assistance
- Roommates: selection, training and support
- Public benefits advocacy
- Regular housing advocacy and tenancy training
- Training curriculum to prepare youth for housing
- Moving assistance
- Ongoing life skills training
- Security deposit assistance
Aspiranet partners with members of the community to ensure the success of this program in communities across the state. Currently, County Department of Human Services, County Probation Departments and College Independent Living Programs provide funding, referrals and program resources. Community support from civic organizations, private donations and businesses help round out the program’s support to demonstrate the importance that these youth succeed and become productive members of the community.
Andrus Family Fund
Transition and Social Change
To learn more or become involved as a donor or volunteer, contact your local Aspiranet office at 800-439-1905.