Every year in Texas, more than 1,200 young adults age out of the foster care system without being adopted.
Kayli Lord, a 23-year-old masters student at Texas State University who is featured in this video, attended college with a tuition fee waiver offered by the state to people with foster care experience. Lord’s atypical family life makes it more difficult for her to find housing and a job.
People who age out of foster care do not have the same safety net or stability many other young adults have, and Lord and many others who leave foster care often become grim statistics. According to the National Center for Housing and Child Welfare, 1 in 4 of America’s foster youth are homeless within four years of leaving foster care. Less than 3% of former foster youth graduate with bachelor’s degrees.
When youths in the Texas foster care system turn 18, they can choose to enter a program called extended foster care. The program allows them to stay in foster care until they are 21 and receive case management and a monthly stipend. In some areas, they can apply to supervised independent living programs.
Stacy Johnson started Grace365, a supervised independent living program in Round Rock, after seeing young adults had nowhere to go after leaving her emergency shelter at Central Texas Table of Grace. Johnson started the nonprofit because she grew up in foster care and wanted to help young adults who need additional support, such as Noah Bryan, featured in the video.
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