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First Place for Youth

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Employment Preparation & Procurement, Homeless & Housing, Housing Support, Human Services, Job Training, Youth Development Programs

Mission: The mission of First Place is to help foster kids build the skills they need to make a successful transition to self-sufficiency and responsible adulthood.

Results: While 65% of California foster youth who “age out” of care become homeless immediately, 92% of former foster youth who go through the First Place program maintain safe and affordable housing. Over the last decade, First Place has had a profound impact on our youth participants. When compared to other transition age foster youth, First Place youth are: * five times less likely to experience homelessness * three times less likely to give birth before the age of 21 * three times less likely to be arrested * six times more likely to be enrolled in college * twice as likely to graduate from high school * twice as likely to be employed

Target demographics: foster kids build the skills they need to make a successful transition to self-sufficiency and responsible adulthood.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 1460 former foster youth

Geographic areas served: Alameda County, Contra Costa County, Los Angeles, San Francisco County, Santa Clara County, Solano County,

Programs: My First Place, a scattered-site housing program, provides stability for at-risk foster youth, ages 18 to 24, through safe housing coupled with intensive transitional services necessary to achieve educational and employment goals, and long-term self-sufficiency. Participants receive a range of support, including individualized case management, move-in assistance and supplies, roommate mediation, education and vocational counseling, life skills training, and community support.

Independent Living Skills Program (ILSP) and First Foundation is offered to foster youth, ages 16 to 21, in San Francisco and Solano Counties. Through ILSP, the organization provides a full range of services, including education and employment assistance, career development, family finding and permanency services, life skills workshops and community events. First foundation is an educational support program that begins with high school sophomores who are willing to commit to the program through high school graduation. Throughout high school, youth receive one-on-one support designed to help increase on-time high school graduation rates along with workshops on educational and social skills development.

Steps-to-Success, an education and employment program, provides at-risk foster youth, ages 18 to 24, with intensive one-on-one counseling and support in completing their high school diploma or GED certificate, enrolling in college, securing financial aid, and tutoring. The program supports youth with employment assistance, career planning, and in building their workplace skills, including job search and job retention. Youth also receive intensive, targeted academic remediation and training (as needed) to help them take tangible steps towards obtaining an industry-recognized certificate or enrollment in post-secondary education. Youth are given the opportunity to explore new careers and then select a career path, while receiving academic remediation and tutoring to ensure that they will succeed.

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