Pilot Program Combines Housing and Employment to Brighten Futures for Older Foster Youth
Strategic Acquisitions, Women of Substance & Men of Honor, and Foster VC Kids Launch “Hope Givers” Pilot Program to provide youth with mentorship, housing and employment
For most teenagers, the transition to adulthood is a time of excitement and hope. For foster youth, however, this transition brings uncertainty. Less than half of foster youth graduate from high school, and only 3% graduate from college, (http://kids-alliance.org/facts-stats/) and an alarming number find themselves homeless in their 20s.
But there is hope, from an unusually diverse source of organizations. “Hope Givers” visionary Tony Hershman founded the pilot program and ground-breaking partnership between Strategic Acquisitions, Inc. (SAI) of Westlake Village, Women of Substance & Men of Honor, and Foster VC Kids. During the transitional period, safe and stable housing is associated with positive outcomes for youth in many areas including education, employment and health. This comprehensive pilot program launched in December 2016 to give former foster youth an opportunity for the bright future they deserve.
SAI, a single-family residence management company focused on acquiring, renovating, leasing, selling, and managing investment properties, recognized the crucial need for secure housing and quickly jumped on board to provide participating foster youth with apartments. In addition to leading the development of the multi-partner collaboration, James Storehouse has outfitted the SAI apartments with housewares, welcoming the young adults to comfortable homes and new beginnings.
“Hope Givers” Program Ambassador Tiffany Windsor helped develop a program offering paid internships in the real estate industry. She works daily to teach foster youth professional skills such as organization, communication, and time management.
“You just cannot help but connect with these youth. It is such an honor and a privilege helping them begin their transition to independence” said Windsor. “The Hope Givers pilot program will change the lives of the young adults who participate for years to come, and we are so excited to partner with James Storehouse, Foster VC Kids, and Women of Substance & Men of Honor to help make it all possible.”
While building their resumes at SAI, youth also receive mentoring by Women of Substance & Men of Honor, a Newbury Park non-profit supporting at-risk youth with a variety of counseling, mentoring, and leadership programs, as well as housing and employment services, internships, and education scholarships.
“I finally realize my purpose and just how much potential I have,” said Kathleen Mosqueda, a former foster youth who has been thriving in the program. “I am grateful to Women of Substance, Men of Honor for helping me get back on track and getting me involved in the Hope2Work program. The program and its partners have given me the opportunity to gain valuable experience and I’ve learned to never doubt what I’m capable of.”
“It is our privilege to be involved with this pilot program and work with these incredible youth at such a pivotal time in their lives,” said Rosalinda P. Vint, President of Women of Substance & Men of Honor.
For more information on how you or your business can help Hope Givers, visit http://jamesstorehouse.org/#/welcome or contact James Storehouse at 805-499-7161; for information on how to become a mentor, visit http://www.wosmohinc.com/meet-us.html or contact Women of Substance & Men of Honor at 805-346-0742; and for more information on supporting a foster youth by becoming a foster parent, visit http://fostervckids.org/ or contact Foster VC Kids at 805-654-3220.
About Strategic Acquisitions, Inc.
Strategic Acquisitions, Inc., (“SAI”) is a privately-owned, institutional-grade, vertically-integrated, single-family residence (“SFR”) operating platform focused on acquiring, renovating, leasing, selling and managing quality SFR investment properties. SAI has pursued a differentiated strategy in the SFR industry and targets quality assets in Southern California. Our senior management team previously established and led some of the largest institutionally-backed SFR groups deploying over $2 billion of equity capital. SAI has acquired, renovated, tenanted and managed or sold approximately 11,000 homes over the course of 30 years. We have invested considerable time and capital into establishing a best-in-class, institutional-quality operating platform including highly-scalable, fully-integrated IT systems and experienced acquisition, rehab, leasing and management teams consisting of over 140 employees and 120 dedicated construction professionals.
About Women of Substance & Men of Honor
WOS & MOH, Inc., is a non-profit community service organization dedicated to providing support to young men and women that may have been incarcerated and/or in the foster care system. We began operating in 1998 and have provided services to numerous men and women and their families in our community. We are supported through donations of individuals, churches, businesses and civic organizations. Our mission is to provide resources to young men and women in need who are ready to change the course of their lives or who may have never been given the opportunity.
About Ventura County Human Services Agency, Foster VC Kids
Ventura County Human Services Agency (VCHSA) strengthens families, supports self-sufficiency and promotes safety, health, and well-being. All of their service areas operate and perform at the highest level to meet the needs of individuals, families, and the community by providing assistance, aid, and protection for foster youth and beyond. VCHSA demonstrates the ability to work in multicultural environments and ensures that policies, programs, and actions communicate respect for the dignity of all people. Visit www.fostervckids.org for more information.
About James Storehouse
James Storehouse is a 501(c)(3) community based non-profit. We partner with local public and private child welfare agencies. James Storehouse fulfills emergency requests to expedite safe placement of babies and children and to assist aged-out youth as they transition. We have received commendations from Los Angeles County and Ventura County recognizing our service to the foster care community.
Denise Bean-White, ext. 111
Sarah MacMillan, ext. 119
Ventura County Human Services Agency (VCHSA) strengthens families, supports self-sufficiency and promotes safety, health, and well-being.
Jun 01, 2017