First Place for Youth

First Place for Youth was founded in 1998 to help foster youth (ages 18-24) make a successful transition to self-sufficiency and responsible adulthood, focusing on four goals: housing, increased educational attainment, employment and healthy living skills. First Place is the state's largest provider of housing for this vulnerable population. The LA County office has a particular emphasis on South Central LA and Downtown. The typical foster youth has lived in an average of seven different foster homes, is one or more grade levels behind in school, is not emotionally and/or socially prepared to enter into adulthood, and is seriously disconnected and at-risk. After securing an apartment with assistance from First Place, youth must commit to this program by regularly meeting with their advisor, contributing to rental payment, and participating in activities/workshops at their local program office. WHY has granted $18,498.00 to First Place in order to create a computer lab that can transform into a multi-functional room. It will be called the Women Helping Youth Education and Employment Center and will be located in the Los Angeles office. Approximately 125 young adults will use the Center each year. It will directly support former foster youth in achieving their goals of graduating from high school, finding their first job, and will minimize the digital divide for foster youth. Old, slow, immovable computers will be replaced with 15 Lenovo ThinkPad Edge laptop computers, a laser printer, a security cart, systems and network services, cables and 8 folding tables. The tables can be folded and the laptops stored securely in order to convert the Center into a multi-functional room where critical workshops will be held, including: weekly education and employment workshops (study skills, job clubs, and job retention), parenting workshops (nutrition, caring for newborns), life skills workshops (budgeting, financial literacy, stress management, health workshops). The Center will help reframe how foster youth think about themselves and the world around them, developing their social, emotional and academic skills.