Housing for Teens Aging Out of Foster Care

Many of you know that we have been foster parents in the Milwaukee area for the past six years. During this time, we've learned about the many struggles teens face when they age out of care without family supports.  20% of teens aging out of foster care become homeless the day they age out, and 40-50% experience homelessness within 18 months, but finding safe, affordable housing at a young age with no credit, no co-signer, and low income is only one of many challenges that kids face once they find themselves on their own.  Teens aging out of foster care are also more likely to experience addiction, be victims of human trafficking, and to become parents before they're ready.*

Our plan is to provide a shelter through the storm, and to hopefully prevent some of these negative outcomes, by providing safe, affordable housing and a go-to person (or group of people!) for teens aging out in the Milwaukee area.  Our goal for this GoFundMe is to raise funds for the down payment and any start-up costs on a 3-4 unit building, which will be exclusively rented to teens aging out of care.  Alongside housing, we hope to offer mentorship and a guiding hand to help the tenants navigate aspects of life that so many of us take for granted (who can you list as a reference on a job application? How do you budget for basic needs? Always clean the lint trap of the dryer!). 

This will not be a money-making venture; rents will be just enough to cover the mortgage, taxes, and costs of upkeep on the building.  Any remaining funds each month will be put toward the youth renters (apartment furnishings, bus tickets, groceries, whatever needs arise).  Nor will it be an official non-profit; just a safe and affordable living space for teens, with the added benefit of mentoring and support with life skills development.  We set a lofty fundraising goal with the mindset that 1) the higher the down payment, the lower the rents can be, and 2) any and all money raised will go directly to the cause, whether toward the down payment, a fresh coat of bright paint, or furniture for a new tenant.

Our goal is to purchase property in 2021, and we will keep this page updated with our progress.  If our plan doesn't come to fruition for whatever reason, all money raised will be donated directly to teens aging out of care.

Thank you for reading and considering this request. Even if you can't donate funds at this time, we appreciate your interest and support! And as always, we're happy to talk about foster parenting with anyone, any time. <3 

- Ellie and Kevin 

*statistics can be found here: https://www.fosterfocusmag.com/articles/foster-care-and-homelessness

here: https://adoption.com/the-danger-of-foster-children-aging-out-of-the-system

here: https://nfyi.org/issues/sex-trafficking/

here: https://nfyi.org/51-useful-aging-out-of-foster-care-statistics-social-race-media/#:~:text=More%20than%2023%2C000%20children%20will,by%20the%20age%20of%2024.

and here: http://www.sharedjustice.org/domestic-justice/2017/3/30/aging-out-of-foster-care-18-and-on-your-own


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Ellie Cross 
Milwaukee, WI
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