California; Hayward — About 1,000 county residents were selected to receive $1,000 per month for a period of 36 months through a new financial aid program. Excitingly, the county is now extending this much-needed assistance to a new group — former foster youth.
Breathe, Los Angeles County’s Guaranteed Income Program, will provide 1,000 eligible residents and an additional 200 former Los Angeles County DCFS foster youth with the needed assistance. Those between 21 and 24 by September are eligible to apply by July 3. The program aims to provide $1,000 per month for two years to 200 young adults who were under the care of the L.A. County Department of Children and Family Services, according to the L.A. Times
This expansion is made possible through a partnership with Strength-Based Community Change, a nonprofit organization, and the Center for Guaranteed Income Research at the University of Pennsylvania. The funding for Breathe started from federal COVID-19 relief funds.
Apart from the 200 participants, the county will also select a control group consisting of 450 foster youth who will not receive financial assistance, but will get $50 gift cards for each survey completed after the application and initial round of questions, as compensation for their time and contribution.
Every year, approximately 4,000 foster youth in California transition into adulthood and exit the foster care system, rendering them ineligible for further placements and support.
Los Angeles County, being home to the largest number of foster care youths in California, particularly grapples with these challenges. In January 2017, almost one-third of young people in foster care aged between 16 and 21 were enrolled in low-income aid programs, underscoring the magnitude of the issue.
Noumaan Faiz, (he/him) is a journalist and entertainer from Hayward, CA who covers culture and entertainment.
Edited by Nykeya Woods