|HUD No. 20-007
February 13, 2020
HUD AWARDS FUNDING TO NORTH EAST COMMUNITY ACTION CORPORATION TO HELP YOUNG PEOPLE AGING OUT OF FOSTER CARE
Kansas City - U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) HUD Great Plains Regional Administrator Jason Mohr awarded over $35,702 to the not-for-profit North East Community Action Corporation (NECAC) in Troy, MO to assist young people aging out of foster care and who are at risk of experiencing homelessness. Mohr was joined by Region IX Regional Administrator Chris Patterson, a former foster youth and Lead Advocate for HUD's Foster Youth to Independence Initiative.
Funded through HUD's new Foster Youth to Independence (FYI) Initiative, this funding will offer housing vouchers to local public housing authorities to prevent or end homelessness among young adults under the age of 25 who are, or have recently left, the foster care system without a home to go to. FYI requires that communities provide supportive services for the length of assistance to help youth achieve self-sufficiency. These activities center around basic life skills, landlord outreach and job preparation. Additionally, they will receive educational and career counseling, as well as counseling on program and lease compliance. These supportive services are critical given that the assistance is time limited.
"Youth leaving the foster care system should not have to experience the overwhelming obstacles of homelessness," said Regional Administrator Jason Mohr. "These vouchers will not only provide stable housing but will lead to many more opportunities in their lives."
"As a former foster care youth, myself, having a safe and stable home made all the difference in my life," said Regional Administrator Chris Patterson. "Our young people are our future, and this investment assures that those in your community who age out of foster care into this program, will have a brighter future to look forward to."
"NECAC is proud to be among the first public housing agencies to receive funding for the Foster Youth to Independence Initiative. NECAC has been a partner with HUD for more than 40 years in providing rent assistance to qualifying residents of 12 counties in Missouri," said NECAC President and Chief Executive Officer Don Patrick. "This new funding will help NECAC broaden its commitment to making sure more of our neighbors in need have decent, safe and affordable housing."
These tenant-protection vouchers will go to public housing authorities that do not participate in HUD's Family Unification Program. The 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.
NECAC was earlier awarded five Foster Youth to Independence Initiative housing vouchers for St. Charles County.
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.