“Courtyard” Groundbreaking Insures Promising Future For Former Foster Youths (PHOTOS)

By Michael Klopfenstein

“Courtyard” Groundbreaking Insures Promising Future For Former Foster Youths (PHOTOS)

May 21, 2013 Updated Nov 22, 2013 at 11:49 AM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) – A Groundbreaking ceremony was held Tuesday morning at the future site of The Courtyard: the first supportive housing project in Indiana for youths formally in foster care. Groundbreaking was held at the site of the former Duemling Clinic off the 2800 block of Fairfield Ave which had been vacant for more than 20 years.

The clinic will be demolished to make way for The Courtyard which will be used as housing targeted towards young adults formally in the foster care system. The building will hold 36 apartments and have community space for resident activities.

Specialized Alternatives for Families and Youth will assist young adult residents by providing employment and job search services.

"Thirty-six percent of foster youth become homeless within 18 months of aging out of foster care because of high housing costs and employment challenges,” says Donna Bolinger, Director of Business Development for SAFY, a non-profit child welfare agency operating in eight states. “Former foster youths, ages 18-25, are one of the most vulnerable and underserved populations in the country today. 'The Courtyard' gives former foster youth an opportunity to seize the day, make a home of their own and have hope and a future."

Former SAFY client Robert Duran, 20, is anxious to make application for an apartment. "I want a home. I want something of my own to be proud of, a fresh start, a home that is a blank canvas to fill up with what makes me the person I am.”

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