My First Place, a 24-month housing support program, allows former foster youth ages 18 to 24 the opportunity to develop a sense of permanency for the first time in their lives. Staff work intensely with each participant to set goals for work, school, relationships and long-term, stable housing. Youth live in one- and two-bedroom apartments, and receive support with move-in costs, rent, food, essential furnishing, house wares, health and mental health needs, self-reliance planning, and access to employment and education services.
Steps to Success, First Place's Education and Employment program, meets the unique needs of all youth who are focused on advancing their careers. Through the program, youth receive the resources and support necessary to obtain their high school diploma, GED or access post-secondary education. Staff members provide academic counseling, assistance in applying for financial aid and scholarships, individual and group tutoring, strong connections to campus-based resources, and aid for purchasing school supplies and course materials. Participants also have access to resources to advance their employment goals. Workforce readiness services include personalized service plans, intensive employment counseling, job development, comprehensive retention services, and an innovative approach that couples educational pursuits with invaluable workplace experience.
First Foundation provides guidance and stability to the most at-risk youth, ages 16 -18, who are within two years of aging out of foster care. The program is open to youth in all foster care placement settings, but the program targets the most at-risk youth who tend to live in group homes and don’t have the support or guidance of caring adults. Staff members prepare these youth for the transition from foster care by providing them with access to educational advancement, mental health services and employment resources in their communities, and working with them to set and achieve realistic goals.
First Steps, a program unique to Bay Area youth, provides workshops, educational and employment support, housing referrals and community resources to current and former Bay Area foster youth who are either preparing to age out of care or have already done so recently. The program is housed in the First Steps Community Resource Center in Oakland and was designed as a social setting that empowers youth who are making the transition to independent living. At the center, youth ages 16 to 24 access workshops that address health, relationships, and communication, attend budgeting and finance classes, and receive one-on-one counseling and advocacy services.
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