THE NEED: 

In San Diego County, 400 youth turn age 18 and leave the foster care system every year – many without a family, a support system, or a place to call home. 

PROGRAM SUMMARY: 

LifeSpring is a supportive housing program designed especially for youth and young adults who are exiting the foster care systems. The goal of the program is to help young adults bridge the gap between foster care and independence. LifeSpring provides transitional housing and intensive case management. With support, these hardworking young adults achieve financial, employment, and education goals – leading to self-reliance.

PROGRAM SERVICES: 

LifeSpring services include:

  • Housing - LifeSpring offers transitional housing to provide youth and young adults with the security of having a safe and stable home. To maintain a housing placement, participants are required to engage in a full-time educational program, employment, or a combination of both.
  • Finances - Financial goals focus on opening and maintaining a bank account, developing and managing a household budget, paying bills on time, and increasing income and credit score.
  • Employment and Education - Employment and education goals initially focus on improving employment soft skills – such as interview and communications skills – to help youth and young adults acquire a job that meets their immediate budget. Goals then expand to address job skills development and educational/vocational programs that lead to greater income and career opportunities.
  • Permanent Connections - LifeSpring helps youth and young adults find meaningful, permanent connections through internships, volunteerism, group outings, and workshops.

LifeSpring’s overarching vision is to help youth and young adults build the skills they need to become successful, independent adults.

WHO WE HELP:

LifeSpring accepts applications from former foster youth and young adults aged 18 to 24 who have an approved referral from the County of San Diego and are ready to work on a plan toward self-reliance, including employment and education.

STORY:

When Rebecca turned age 18, she faced the harsh reality that confronts most transitioning foster youth – she had to make it on her own without a family support system. Rebecca’s earliest memories of her family life are fraught with images of domestic abuse, drug addiction, and neglect. When she was just seven years old, she was placed in the foster care system. For the next eleven years, the system provided Rebecca with the basics, but it did not help her build the skills she needed to become an independent adult. 

LifeSpring is filling that gap, offering Rebecca affordable subsidized housing along with the stability, coaching, and care she needs to become a successful, self-sufficient adult. With LifeSpring’s support, Rebecca is truly on her way to success! She is a full-time coffee house barista and is studying for a bachelor’s degree at Cal State San Marcos. Rebecca describes the LifeSpring program as “like having a huge weight taken of your shoulders; you know there’s always support ready for you.” 

OUR IMPACT:

Last year, the LifeSpring program provided transitional housing, case management, and life skills training for 23 former foster youth. 

  • 80% of LifeSpring participants achieved full-time productivity by going to school or obtaining jobs within three months of move-in.  

     

  • 100% of program participants acquired healthcare coverage.

     

  • 70% successfully completed program as evidenced by transition to safe and sustainable housing.

     

HOW YOU CAN HELP:

Your donation to the LifeSpring program can help transition aged foster youth in two ways:

1)  Move-in Expenses - LifeSpring participants enter the program with few belongings. Youth and young adults moving into their first independent home need everything from a bed, dresser, lamps, dishes, small kitchen appliances and linens to pantry items and cleaning supplies. Move-in expenses average $1,800 for each participant.

2) Barrier Busters - Barrier Busters are everyday items and expenses that are beyond a young adult’s financial means but are necessary to achieving their goals. Barrier Busters can include: gas cards or bus passes, Uber or Lyft gift cards, books and school supplies, and interview clothing. The cost of Barrier Busters can range from $50 to $200. 

3) Donations of Experiences – Former foster youth are often not provided opportunities for life experiences like fishing or camping trips, music or sports lessons, gym memberships, ski/snowboarding trips, outings to National Parks, and monthly subscriptions to cooking or book clubs. The cost for these experiences are varied, but the impact is invaluable.  

Click here to donate today! LifeSpring is looking for volunteers who can sponsor outings and educational events for our youth and young adult participants. Opportunities include: Barbeques, art nights, budget-friendly meal planning, biking and hiking trips, kayaking, and more.

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