We’re counting down 10 of the biggest stories The Chronicle of Social Change published in 2019. Each day, we’ll connect readers with a few links to our coverage on a big story from this past year.
Research on youth aging out of the foster care system shows a staggering number of them will experience bouts of homelessness as they shift from state supervision to the sometimes scary independence of adulthood. This year, a group led by current and former foster youths helped craft and implement a new federal policy to help address this problem.
The Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities (FSHO) Coalition — which includes youth-led ACTION Ohio and the National Center for Housing and Child Welfare – convinced Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson to free up millions of existing dollars for a targeted voucher that can be used by aging out foster youths to quickly access public housing.
The coalition continues to fight for legislation that will enshrine the policy in law – the Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities Act, is moving in both chambers of Congress.
A comprehensive explanation of how the foster youth vouchers can be used in partnership between child welfare and public housing authorities, and then “recycled” back to another eligible youth.
HUD Secretary Ben Carson unveiled the Foster Youth to Independence initiative in Milwaukee this July. “About 20,000 youngster age out of foster care each year, and about a quarter of those, sometime in the next four years will become homeless,” said Carson. “This is an opportunity to intervene there very significantly.”