U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson today visited with recipients of HUD’s Foster Youth to Independence (FYI) Initiative and held a roundtable with local leaders to discuss the program, which is in its first year.
|Secretary Ben Carson meets with Foster Youth to Independence voucher recipients in Ohio before hosting a roundtable about the program with local leadership||Secretary Ben Carson meets with Foster Youth to Independence voucher recipients in Ohio before hosting a roundtable about the program with local leadership|
Since Secretary Carson introduced the initiative 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.
“Just a little over a 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. “Today, it was incredible to see the great success the state of Ohio has had in utilizing the FYI program to help young folks who are starting out on their own.”
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% 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.
View the One Year Anniversary video of the FYI program here.