Today The RightWay Foundation is opening a new house for young men who grew up in the foster care system, thanks to the support of the Pritzker Foster Care Initiative. The home is a beautiful Craftsman style house with hardwood floor. This house is going to have a relaxing meditation/fitness room. We will be housing nine young men that will bridge a transition to independence and more permanent housing. They will pursue education and career-driven programs like Year Up, and will have access to RightWay’s proven employment and mental health services throughout their stay in the home and beyond. RightWay will be hosting workplace resolution groups and wellness meals, to encourage a safe environment in which youth can troubleshoot workplace and personal issues. The focus of the home will be holistic health and wellness, with the supportive services our youth need to thrive.
Moving into housing services is a fulfillment of the need RightWay sees every day. Many foster youth coming into our center on a daily basis, most of them homeless. Although, for years, we have scrambled to find them housing through wonderful partners like Good Seed CDC and Sanctuary of Hope, the amount of homeless youth only seem to continue to increase. We are looking to expand the number of beds available specifically for foster youth, and ensure these young people can successfully reach self-sufficiency.
For our youth, finding a job and being hired has always been the easy part, especially with the training youth receive through Operation Emancipation and RightWay’s close ties to companies such as Crews 1972, AEG, and HMS Host. But once on the job, many youth face housing crises and other personal setbacks that can affect their job performance and maintenance. Stable housing is one of the most common reasons our youth are unable to stay at a job-- so, this housing program will have the goal of reducing turnover for employers and keeping our young employees at their jobs.
This house will have some rules to encourage and facilitate exit to more permanent housing, such as no drugs or alcohol on-site, no guests, and required payment into a savings plan. But, we are sensitive to our population and understand the needs they have. Supportive, harm-reduction housing for foster TAY is necessary. We cannot expect our youth to go to school, find long-term jobs and succeed without a stable place to stay. We cannot kick them out due to indiscretions any young adult will have because there are not enough beds to take them back in. There must be informed discussion about past mistakes and how to resolve problems effectively, through therapy and crisis intervention, but not through devastating consequences to their future. We must give second chances. Any parent will give their own children much more than a second chance, so because LA County foster youth are the children of RightWay, we believe it is our duty to make sure they receive as much support as they need to jump as high as they want after exiting foster care.
Although this house is mostly funded due to the generosity of Pritzker Foster Care Initiative, we are looking for investors and locations for future housing programs in South Central LA. For our tenants, donations in-kind of materials such as soap, paper towels, desks, cleaning supplies, dishes, and anything else a young man might need related to housing would be very useful. If you would like to be a part of this exciting new venture in any way, please fill out this form here. Thank you in advance for supporting our foster youth.