We help former foster care youth build fulfilling lives
When youth age out of foster care, they lack the support that many of us take for granted. This puts them at a much greater risk for consequences that could negatively affect the rest of their lives.
According to the National Conference of State Legislators:
- More than 50% of former foster care youth will become homeless after age 18.
- Just 58% will graduate high school by age 19.
- More than 60% of young women will be pregnant by 21.
- Only half will be employed by age 24, and fewer than 2% will earn a college degree by age 25.
- One quarter (25%) will be involved in the justice system within two years.
Journey to Adult Success provides a pathway to self-sufficiency for these youth and others like them. Our program includes safe and stable housing, a positive atmosphere, and individualized coaching and support.
The heart of our organization is JAS House (pronounced “jazz”), a transitional home in Green Bay, Wisconsin. JAS House is much more than a roof, though — it’s a homelike environment where young adults get the resources they need to thrive.
We provide job and transportation support, one-on-one coaching in a range of life skills, and a caring community that stays with our youth long after they leave. Basically, we provide training wheels for at-risk youth as they enter adulthood.
A group of five women meet in a foster care agency in Green Bay. As foster parents, therapists, and social workers, we discuss the crisis we’re witnessing among post-foster youth — and decide to do something about it.
We secure a rental house and begin offering a safe space where young adults can adjust to life on their own. Within a month, we’re full. We rely on small private donations and a local agency that lends us a part-time case manager.
After watching young people grow and thrive in our pilot program, we take the next big step: soliciting the donation of a house we can call our own. We open the doors of JAS House on July 1, and hire a part-time case manager, Tyronda, who is still with us today.
In just four years, we house and mentor 50 young adults, and assist 30 more. Based on demand from local high schools, we begin serving homeless upperclassmen.
Our next goal is expansion, as the need for transitional housing continues to be great. We launch a fundraising campaign with the aim of obtaining additional housing, an office, and a group meeting space. Can you help us reach our goals?
President: Barbara Hoffman
Vice President: Laurie Murphy
Secretary: Rachel Cloud
Treasurer: Cody Mares