|HUD No. 20-111
HUD Public Affairs
July 24, 2020
HUD SECRETARY BEN CARSON COMMEMORATES ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF THE FOSTER YOUTH TO INDEPENDENCE INITIATIVE
Meets with Foster Youth Voucher Recipients
PITTSBURGH, P.A. - U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson today commemorated the One Year Anniversary of the Foster Youth to Independence Initiative in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he met voucher recipients and held a roundtable with local leaders about the program.
Since the initiative was launched in July of 2019, 26 states have received FYI funding, equating to 677 individual vouchers, totaling over $5.4 million in funds to prevent or end homelessness among young adults under the age of 25 who are in, or have recently left, the foster care system without a home to go to.
“Just one year ago, the Foster Youth to Independence program was a mere idea spurred from an impactful conversation I had with youth who had experienced the trials of aging out of the foster care system firsthand,” said Secretary Carson. “One year later, the FYI initiative has spanned over 20 states and transformed the lives of young men and women, providing the resources they need to write their own ticket to success. A primary reason why this initiative has been so successful in such a short amount of time is because of the partnership from individuals like Senator Toomey, who is a leader in ensuring that self-sufficiency and success are tangible realities for all our Nation’s youth, regardless of the circumstance they were born into. As we round the corner of the second year of this program, I look forward to continuing this momentum to empower our next generation.”
Secretary Carson was joined in Pittsburgh by U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA), “In many cases, those who age out of foster care systems remain in need of a helping hand. I very much appreciate Secretary Carson coming to Allegheny County today to detail the efforts he has led at HUD to make sure these young adults do not go homeless. Secretary Carson’s work is to be commended and I look forward to welcoming him back to the commonwealth soon.”
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) estimates that more than 20,000 young people age out of foster care each year. The National Center for Housing and Child Welfare (NCHCW) estimates that approximately 25 percent of these young people experience homelessness within four years of leaving foster care and an even higher share are precariously housed. HUD's Foster Youth Initiative housing vouchers go to public housing authorities that do not participate in HUD's Family Unification Program. To be eligible for FYI funding, public housing authorities must:
- Administer a Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program;
- Enter into a partnership agreement with a Public Child Welfare Agency (PCWA);
- Accept young people referred by their partnering PCWA; and
- Determine that the referred youth are eligible for HCV assistance.
Read FYI voucher recipient testimonials here.