What started out as a local community "Adopt-a-Family" for Christmas turned into the realization that the need doesn’t end with the holidays.
As we discovered by talking to their clinician, the CT state support system has very little exit strategy aside from subsidized housing. When these “kids” over eighteen (and they are still kids at this point) age out of support they are immediately expected to be adults. It’s difficult enough to be a young adult these days, and these kids have often been through so much that they need more support, not less.
When these young adults arrive in group housing they are given rudimentary supplies...one set of sheets and towels, one pillow...you get the idea.
After they are approved for independent living, they leave with little more than that. No pots, pans, dishes, cutlery, bathroom supplies - no household basics and oftentimes only outgrown clothing that is too many years old.
These young people have survived the foster care program only to exit the system having to fend for themselves. They are virtually invisible to society.
When we considered the number of items trashed daily all around us we thought...Imagine what we could accomplish with the concept of pairing donated home goods with these young people ready for their first-ever homes.
"Transition Kits" can transform the way the youth view themselves as well as those around them. This not only eliminates the financial obstacles of furnishing a home but also improves the overall well-being of the recipient as well as the local community.
The highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.