There is a very significant link between youth homelessness and the foster care system. There are many young people out there who aren’t able to start dynamically their adult lives as they don’t have the basic to survive by the time they are ready to leave the foster care.
Based on the Foster Care Statistics 2019, “roughly 30,000 youth are forced to exit the system annually without having found a forever family, leaving them to fend for themselves”.
Thankfully, we have nonprofits like Pivot Inc. which aims to help and support these young people to transition confidently to their adult lives. Pivot offers services like clothing closets, short/ long-term housing solutions, and a chance to education.
As the President and CEO of the organization, Jennifer Goodrich said on the day of the ribbon-cutting event for the first Tiny Home, “We’re already good at providing permanent connections through the services we provide, but housing was a missing link”.
In Oklahoma City, Pivot tries to help the homeless teens by providing them with tiny homes, which are built just behind the Pivot offices so that the youth can visit, seek help or use the rest of the services the organization has to offer.
In the video, we have the testimony of Carter, one of the first lucky young people able to call this tiny house, home of his own. There is no deadline for his stay and the rent slowly reaches to 150$ after a 6-month period.
Carter who had a rough childhood, as his father is in prison and he had lost his mother when he was only 10 years old, the moment he aged out the foster care, he had to look constantly for housing solutions. A homeless shelter, a couch or his sister’s adoptive family house were always short-term solutions to his housing needs.
Now, with a home to call his own and a roof over his head, we can see that he is finally relieved and happy. Carter’s life has definitely changed for the better as he said to the reporter on Oklahoma’s News, “Having a bed’s going to be different. I sleep on a couch right now, so I have a lot of back problems from it”.
Who isn’t familiar with the Tiny House Movement? All over the world, the movement is gaining more and more supporters as it advocates the shift away from today’s consumerism and choosing a simpler living style. The Tiny House is an adequate solution to this very big social problem that is Youth Homelessness.
Last year, Chapin Hall researcher, Matthew Morton at a hearing in front of a U.S House of Representatives Subcommittee, testified that “For Youth, homelessness is about more than the loss of housing; it is about the lack or loss of relationships and connections that most people had to rely on more consistently for love, support, safety, and stability. Housing instability is but one factor that characterizes their journeys”.
I hope in the future we will have more organizations governmental or not that will take initiatives to tackle this important issue and help protect the Youth of this country.
If you would like to see more about Pivot and their Tiny Houses, check the video below.
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