Fresno, CA, May 19, 2018 — Foster teens face far more obstacles than their non-foster peers: 35% of foster teens end up in the prison system, while only 50% graduate high school. 40% of transitional aged youth (ages 18-21) are homeless and living on the streets (according to the California Community Colleges Student Mental Health Program 12/15.). As a supportive step forward during Foster Care Awareness Month, five local youth who are transitioning from foster care to independence will receive their very first furniture (including sofa, love seat, coffee table, end tables, bed and mattress, single drawer dresser), donated by Ashley HomeStore in partnership with Aspiranet. Community members are invited to the event, Thursday, May 24 at 11am, at the Ashley HomeStore, 7502 N. Blackstone Avenue, Fresno, California. The former foster youth will share their stories before receiving the new furniture sets to furnish their apartments.
Aspiranet is one of California’s largest and most innovative nonprofits supporting children and families, specializing in working with transitional aged youth ages 18-21 statewide. Aspiranet’s Transitional Aged Youth programs –Transitional Housing Placement Plus Foster Care and Transitional Housing Placement Plus – provide young adults transitioning from foster care to independent living with a safe living environment, educational assistance, job readiness training, and emotional support while teaching life skills that help them become self-sufficient.
Kyra, one of the youth who will receive furniture at the Ashley HomeStore event explained, “I’m 19 years old and was placed in foster care at the age of five. I’ve been in 13 homes. My goal is to have my own place to call home where I can start a family and support them. I’m grateful for Aspiranet’s THP+FC Program because they help me stay on track and make sure I’m doing everything I’m supposed to, like going back to Fresno City College in August.”
“As a provider of Transitional Aged Youth Services, the community support we receive from businesses like Ashley HomeStore allows us to meet the basic needs of these former foster youth,” explains Jeannie Imelio, Executive Director for Aspiranet. “This furniture donation goes well beyond what the youth can even imagine for their first home. It helps to create a warm, safe, and well-equipped space for them to start their adult life.” Foster youth of all ages deserve to have safe, caring relationships that can last a lifetime.
Ashley HomeStore, the world’s largest manufacturer of furniture, is continuing its partnership (started in May 2015) with Aspiranet by donating five furniture sets to the former foster youth.
Aspiranet is a 501(c) (3), California nonprofit organization with the mission of providing children, youth, and families with a foundation of support and services so they can succeed at home, at school, and in their communities. Aspiranet offers a unique blend of services including foster family support, adoption through foster care, services for foster youth transitioning to adulthood, mental health services, residential care, intensive home-based care, and community-based family resources. To learn more, visit www.aspiranet.org.
About Aspiranet's Transitional Aged Youth Programs
Aspiranet Transitional Aged Youth programs are a bridge between foster care and independence. We are dedicated to helping our youth develop necessary life skills, self-reliance, and confidence so they can achieve their goals for the future. www.apiranet.org/transitional-aged-youth/
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