Dear Friends of Harbor House,
We are embarking on an exciting new program!
After several years in the trenches with those who struggle most in our community, it became clear to the staff that we needed to go deeper into the causes of homelessness. We discovered that an astounding 36% of California foster youth become homeless within 18 months of aging out of the system. 46% do not graduate from high school and less than 3% earn a college degree.
In 2012 a new law was enacted enabling these youth to continue to receive benefits from the state until they are 21, as long as they are going to school and/or working. After they exit the foster care system, they can enter a transitional living house where they can continue to learn life skills and benefit from mentoring, while still receiving financial assistance. However, Ventura County tells us there is a dire need for adequate transitional houses run by people willing to help kids land on their feet after years of abandonment, trauma, and neglect. There are currently 187 youth that are eligible for this type of home in our county alone, but no space available.
Harbor House would like to contribute to the lives of these young people. We have received the most generous gift from one of our largest donors, who bought a house that will become transitional housing for former foster youth. We will begin by housing six young men ages 18-21 and will open our doors to them on March 1, 2021.
At this transitional home with the help of our case managers, they can finish high school, begin college, get job experience, or get a driver’s license. They can learn how to create a budget, open a bank account and pay bills. These are skills that our average 40-year-old client has never acquired, and we find it is often these seemingly simple things that create the largest barriers for those we work with.
We hope you share the joy and excitement we feel at the hope of this home for young people who need a caring and nurturing home in which to learn some of life’s most important lessons
around successful, independent living. We ask you to join with us in asking God’s blessings on this project and on the young people it will serve.
“There comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they’re falling in.”
Archbishop Desmond Tutu
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Director of Harbor House