To provide teens aging out of the
foster care system with all of the resources and support of an intact family. To allow the greatest opportunity
for a successful transition to adulthood.
The transition from adolescence to adulthood is
a difficult transition, even with an intact family structure. Recent studies have shown that the average young person
must rely on parental support during this transitional period, and do not actually become self-sufficient until age 26.
By contrast, youth exiting the foster care systems do not have this option; they are cut off from their sole support system
at age 18.
Where most teens are entering this time of their
life with a sense of awe and opportunity, foster kids are left in a state of desperation. Without a home to return to,
they often sleep on couches, in cars or turn themselves in to the local homeless shelter. For these kids the future
The number of homeless foster teens in the United
States is a growing epidemic that must be treated aggressively. Given the magnitude of the problem, THE TEEN PROJECT plans
two components, Transitional Housing and Drop-In Centers.
THE TEEN PROJECT Transitional Housing and
Support Program is a not-for-profit organization that will provide safe, sober, transitional housing for young people ranging
from 17-1/2 to 23 years of age. In addition to shelter, THE TEEN PROJECT will give these young adults independence, personal
and career guidance, family support and ongoing community support through a program called Friends for Life.
THE TEEN PROJECT Drop-In Centers
will provide homeless teens with immediate temporary shelter, food, clothing, Internet, telephone and referrals to treatment
and sober living facilities where necessary. THE TEEN PROJECT has relationships with community partners and mental health
resources to ensure that each and every teen that arrives at the door is provided adequate help to get them off of the street.
THE TEEN PROJECT has started in Orange County California, with teams ready to mobilize in Riverside, Los Angeles and San Diego.
It is our goal to bring our model to every city in the U.S. that needs our services.
THE TEEN PROJECT was a created by Lauri Burns in
response to her overwhelming feeling that no matter how many teens she fostered, it was never enough. Lauri's dream has always
been that no teen should ever be without a home or a family. Lauri's vision is very clear that “system” teens
will be provided with all of the resources and amenities that "normal" kids have.
HOW ARE OUR KIDS DOING?
• In California, an estimated 20,000 to 25,000
youth are homeless and living on the streets.
• A National study reported that more than
1 in 5 youth who arrived at shelters came directly from foster care.
• More than 1 in 4 had been in foster care
in the previous year (National Association of Social Workers).
• Studies across the nation indicate that between
24 and 50% of former foster care/probation youth become homeless within 18 months of leaving the system (California Department
of Social Services).
• 25% of those in prison were once in foster
Studies of California’s former foster
youth found that:
• 65% emancipate without a place to live.
• Less than 3% go to college.
• 51% are unemployed.
• Emancipated females are 4 times more likely
to receive public assistance than the general population.
• In any given year, foster children comprise
less than 0.3% of the state’s population, and yet 40% of persons living in homeless shelters are former foster children.
• 70% of 17 year-olds in foster care express
a desire to go to college.
• 54% will finish high school • 2% will
earn a college degree.
Young people (ages 6-21) are 23% of the
population but 100% of the future.