Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Parent to Parent: Foster Care
Many kids who grow up in the foster care system have no where to go by the time they turn 18. Some end up on the streets. But a local woman is trying to change that by offering them a place to call home. 7's Lynn Martinez shows us in tonight's Parent to Parent.
WSVN -- Izzi McGriff has not had an easy life.
Izzi McGriff, Grew up in Foster Care: "I ended up in foster care because my mama is a drug addict."
She was sent to a foster home by age eight.
Izzi McGriff: "It was scary, it really was, I cried every night, I didn't know nobody."
Izzi spent the next nine years in foster care. When she turned 18, she was told it was time to live on her own.
Izzi McGriff: "I had no where to go, I had nothing, I had no money, I had nothing."
Kathy Cole, Exec. Dir., New Journeys Transitional Home: "60 percent of the kids who age out of foster care become homeless within the first two years."
Kathy Cole says many kids in the foster care system are turned away once they turn 18 and wind up on the streets.
Kathy Cole: "The young women end up on the streets as prostitutes, period."
That's why she opened up new Journeys Transitional Home- a place where young women can live when they have no where else to go.
Kathy Cole: "It's a quaint home, it's a 3 bedroom one and a half bath."
The house is small, with room for four residents and a supervisor. And there are rules the young ladies must follow.
Kathy Cole: "Beds are made by 8 every morning, Monday through Friday."
The girls keep the house clean, do laundry and learn how to cook!
Izzi McGriff: "Every Sunday she'll teach us how to do a dish, like macaroni or how to cook chicken or something."
And they must be enrolled in school, working on their future.
Kathy Cole: "The goal is to bring these young women in, build self-esteem, build confidence with them, help them with their character."
Izzi is working to earn her GED and wants to become a social worker. She says new journeys saved her life by putting her on the right track and hopes others can benefit like she did.
Kathy Cole: "A place like this would really help them, and really make young people want to succeed and want to do better."
Lynn Martinez: "Kathy takes care of all the bills. There's a long waiting list to get into New Journeys."
For more information or to make a donation:
New Journeys Transitional Home