The mission of Finally Family Homes (FFH) is to support vulnerable youth who are exiting foster care without a home. We come alongside these youth, attending to their needs for security, belonging, and self-actualization. FFH protects them from the many dangers of homelessness by:
· providing them with transitional, family-oriented housing
· empowering them to build an economic foundation for self-sufficiency
· inviting them out of isolation into a permanent community of healthy relationships
Because sustainability is a core value for us, we help mitigate the risks for future homelessness by leveraging partnerships with the local community to provide personal and educational mentorship. We offer a safety net of continued connection and support because we believe no one is too old for a family and everyone wants a place to call home.
Ultimately, our goal is to expand this mission beyond Santa Clarita in the years to come, to serve even more youth in need.
Who We Serve
We have orphans who are not getting the care they need right here in the United States. Orphans don’t always look like what we imagine – neither superficially nor in circumstance.
As Stephen Jenkinson, MTS, MSW put it:
So often we think that children most in need must be in some far away country. But too many of our country’s aged out foster youth, our orphaned children, end up falling into the same unfortunate circumstances as kids anywhere else in the world who don’t have parents to call on – human trafficking, homelessness, and incarceration.
Our primary age range for helping youth who are transitioning to independence as they leave the foster care system is 18-24. The studies and youth we’ve encountered agree – safe and secure housing is their top need.
We know it’s important to intervene early, so we also serve high school aged youth providing encouragement, life skills, and connection through our Life Launch Program.
There’s Not Enough Help
For too many foster youth, about 20,000 per year, turning 18 is the death knell to their dreams of finding a forever family or home. Many give up hope sooner than that, likely sensing what the statistics tell us – that only 5% of youth over age 12 will get adopted.
Not only are these youth on their own without a family, but they are less equipped to succeed than their peers who do have families. Just because you turn 18, doesn’t mean you are ready to do life all on your own – especially for those who’ve faced so much trauma and instability.
Life Skills Community
Our independently living skills classes / club to educate, connect, and equip aging out foster youth serves youth in high school through college. The age groups are kept separate and we partner with our local high school district and neighboring community college to provide them.
We don’t call them “classes” because who wants an extra class? But more importantly we value building a sense of community as an equally important objective.
Finally Family Homes implements the Host Homes program model pioneered by Point Source Youth, which has proven to be a cost-effective, successful intervention for youth homelessness in neighboring cities and states.
Our Host Homes Program recruits, screens, and trains adults in stable homes who wish to provide an open room to a youth in need. We provide support to hosts and match them with compatible youth, who are also screened.
Tiny Home Ownership
Sustainability and self-sufficiency are core values at Finally Family Homes. That’s why our primary goal is to help youth build to own their own tiny homes on wheels. Youth are expected to invest their own time and money, so when they leave with their tiny house, they live in a reminder of where their hard work and investment got them.
Tiny homes on wheels also give youth the agility to move easily while keeping ownership. Tin home ownership keeps some of the wealth with the youth instead of passing it all all to landlords, and allows youth to be housed in safer and better neighborhoods than they could otherwise afford.
In December 2019, tiny homes on wheels became legal ADU’s in Los Angeles. This means our youth can legally park in the back yards of Los Angeles homes. Our mission includes helping find and screen those homes, making sure our youth land in a safe and healthy community.
Life Long Connection
Our primary work is to come alongside youth to help them finish growing up and preparing for the world. But we also want to to be there with and for them for the rest of their lives. ⠀
At Finally Family Homes our aim is to provide the kind of resources that match those that are afforded young adults who have a supportive, healthy, and safe family of origin. That means connecting the youth to families and church communities in their area, during and after their transitional time with us.
This permanency pact, created by Foster Club – describes the kind of relationship we would like to have with the kids – we’d like to put in a check mark in nearly every category. (A home for the holidays, a place to do laundry, emergency place to stay, spiritual support, someone to talk to, etc).
We will invite all of our youth back with their families for every holiday. We know aged out foster youth in their later years who are so heartbroken to still be alone on holidays.
We also will provide a landing pad for hard times – a place to park their tiny homes when they hit a bump in the road, need to regroup, and get back on track – just like adults with families have.
We believe no one is too old for a family and everyone should have a place to call home.
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The most common thing we hear from aging out foster youth is “I didn’t think anyone cared about me at all.” They need to know that there is a world of people who do care, who want to invest in their lives, and want to see them healthy, happy, successful and connected.
Please contact us if you’d like to know more or get involved. Join our mission by donating and learn about our monthly newsletter to read our stories of hope.