AUSTIN (KXAN) - According to the Texas Department of Family and ProtectiveServices, 50 percent of teenagers who age out of the foster caresystem in Texas wind up homeless.
It's a staggering statistic the AustinChildren's Shelter is trying to change with a
It's a transitional living cottage for boys between the ages of16 and 21 who are in the foster care system.
Since children older than age 7 have a harder time gettingadopted, the cottage is providing a transitional living facility totry and break the cycle of homelessness for older kids.
"A lot of them have been removed from the home for a variety ofreasons, mainly abuse and neglect, so they are verytrauma-stricken," said Austin Children's Shelter team manager JeffNecas.
Many times children and teens who wind up at the AustinChildren's Shelter have lived in multiple foster homes.
"What we're trying to provide is that stability," said Necas."We want our young men who are coming into this home to takeownership of it and look at it as their home. This is their placeto live."
That is one purpose of the new transitional living cottage. Thisnew home provides them a room of their own, laundry facilities, akitchen and the opportunity to learn how to be a responsible,independent adult.
"We want to give them the tools and guide them to making apositive decision -- from conflict resolution, to seekingemployment, to money management, to completing their education,"said Necas.
The goal is to be a stepping stone to breaking the cycle ofhomelessness after the state stops providing foster care.
"This is just putting another resource out there that isavailable to them to kind of hinder that number of homelessness,"said Necas.
This transitional living cottage also allows the teens to livehere for several years if necessary.
Before, they could stay at the shelter for up to 90 days --sometimes longer in emergency cases -- but they were typicallytransitioned to yet another foster home.
Stability is the key, and Austin Children's Shelter officialssaid they hope this will make a
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