Dear friend of St. Aemilian-Lakeside:
New windows onto the world are opening for a special group of young people who “age out” of foster care because they have turned 18. Many of these young people have been in foster care most of their lives. Legally, they are expected to be adults and to make it on their own. The question is: What windows will they look through?
Some will look through the window of a prison cell; some will look through the paint-chipped window of a tattered basement apartment where they have “couch-hopped,” because they have no permanent place to live. Some will have no windows at all because they are homeless and on the streets.
This is an extremely at-risk population. Because of a lack of stability and support, they may be physically or sexually victimized or caught up in alcohol and drug abuse or the criminal justice system. Most are chronically under- or unemployed. Many experience mental health difficulties.
At St. Aemilian-Lakeside, we are opening windows of opportunity and helping these young people successfully transition to adulthood. In our programs:
- 94% have stable housing and the safety that comes with having a roof over your head
- 98% have remained free of any new contact with the criminal justice system 71% have graduated from high school or earned a GED; 34% are in post-secondary education programs
- 94% of those who have children remain uninvolved with the child welfare system, closing the frequently revolving door
Won’t you please help us help these young people? Consider the sobering statistic that it takes about $39,000 to fund one person in prison for a year while it takes $12,500 to support one youth in our independent living services. Any gift is important, and any support that you can provide will help us bring hope, change lives and assist these young people to heal and become contributing members of our community.
We thank you in advance for your consideration of a donation.
Teri Zywicki, President and CEO, St. Aemilian-Lakeside
James Peterson, Board chair, St. Aemilian-Lakeside