Every year, at least 25 foster youth in Linn County turn 18 and age out of foster care. These teens often lack the support and resources that young adults need to live independently.
To fill this important need in the community, JLCR started Bridging the G.A.P. (Guide. Advocate. Provide.)
Click here to learn more about becoming a bridging the G.A.P. sponsor.
Find the Bridging the G.A.P. Pledge Form here.
JLCR empowers foster youth through the development of personal relationships and life skills. JLCR and Foundation 2 partnered to connect JLCR members with the Partnership of Iowa Foster Care Youth Council’s Achieving Maximum Potential (AMP) local group. As a result, JLCR members and AMP participants interact on a twice-monthly basis, developing bonds between adults and teens.
- At bi-weekly AMP meetings, JLCR members provide a healthy meal for 30 young adults for less than $150, and connect with AMP participants on a one-on-one level.
- Prior to the development of this partnership, AMP participants often would choose to skip dinner to attend the meeting.
JLCR supports efforts to ensure that youth aging out of foster care have the opportunities and services essential to live independently.
- JLCR trains its members throughout the year on issues impacting teens in foster care. Presentation topics include human trafficking and how to advocate for foster teens as the state government.
JLCR supplies suitcases with items foster alumni need to live independently, and provides scholarships to help teens fulfill unexpected needs.
- JLCR provides about 25 suitcases a year to young adults aging out of foster care. These suitcases include bedding, kitchen utensils, cleaning supplies, pots and pans, and towels.
- We all experience unexpected expenses. When the unexpected happens for teens in foster care or for young adults who recently aged out, JLCR works to help them meet their financial commitments (laptops for college, car repairs, school field trips, etc.).
A complete suitcase costs over $700, but even a $5 donation can help purchase essential items that many of us take for granted. Examples are listed below:
- Dishwashing supplies (detergent, towels, brush): $5
- Personal care (tweezers, first aid kit): $10
- Laundry supplies (detergent, laundry bag, quarters): $20
- Dishes (plates, cups, silverware): $25
- Bedding (blankets, sheets, pillowcases): $45
In 2018 we started our Housing First Project which provides rent support for 12 months to 3-5 young adults who aged out of foster care.
- JLCR pays 100% of each participants rent for 6 months, 66% for 3 months and 33% for the last 3 months. This support allows the participants to refocus their financial and mental resources on other needs for one year.
- The Participants are all working with a Foundation 2 advocate, and the participants agree to complete Waypoint’s Tenant Academy and to build up an emergency savings account.
Please visit Make a Gift to help fill the suitcases and support this important project.
Junior League of Cedar Rapids thanks TransAmerica for its support of Bridging the G.A.P.