Youth in the program must be ages 18 to 21. They must also be finishing high school or an equivalency program, enrolled at least half-time in a college or vocational program, have a documented medical condition, or work at least 80 hours a month. Youth are expected to deposit a minimum of $25 in their savings account each month so that they are prepared to live independently when they exit the program. They are also required to maintain their apartment, have regular physicals and dental cleanings, and adhere to all laws and apartment regulations.
What We Do
Walden’s transitional housing plus foster care program was among the first of its kind in California. Youth choose to remain in foster care until age 21 to pursue their education and employment. Walden helps young people decide where to live, cover rent and utilities, and provide basic home furnishings. In addition, Walden social workers provide young people with the structure they need to set realistic goals . They also teach youth the skills most young adults learn from the parents:
- Establish healthy relationships
- Apply to educational programs
- Prepare meals
- Manage a household budget
- Conduct a job search
Individual and group therapy help young people deal with everyday stresses including domestic violence, substance abuse, anger management and relationship issues. In addition, crisis intervention and support to resolve emergency situations is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Mentors provide additional support and guidance, helping youth develop their skills and, in many cases, support their children. Walden also links young people with driver’s education and SAT prep classes, school books and supplies, bus passes and gas cards, and work uniforms and interview clothes.
Walden serves children and families from our offices in the following locations:
Why It Matters
Nearly 65% of youth leave foster care at age 18 with no place to call home. Without housing or connection to family and community, youth are less likely to finish high school and go to college, find employment and access healthcare, which in turn jeopardizes their ability to take control of their futures and become contributing members of the community. They’re also more likely to have children before they are ready, putting them at risk of perpetuating the cycle of foster care.
In contrast, youth in Walden’s transitional housing/foster care program learn how to live on their own in the community, build relationships with mentors, and earn a college degree or learn a vocation.
How You Can Help
Your donations provide funds for housing and employment specialists who help youth to grow in their independence. Funds also cover security deposits, home furnishings, utilities, food and transportation stipends and training. Give today.