PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The Department of Housing and Urban Development is donating more than $100,000 toward helping young adults who have outgrown the foster care system, yet still need resources to transition into responsible adulthood.
The Foster Youth to Independence Initiative provides housing assistance and supportive services for young adults who are at-risk-of or experiencing homelessness.
HUD is awarding $113,170 to the Portsmouth Redevelopment and Housing Authority which helps oversee the program.
McKale Faulkes has been living in the foster care system since she was a child.
"I'm grateful because now I don't have to worry about laying my head somewhere or a place to eat, place to live," she said. "It's very significant. I appreciate it because we really needed this to really help us."
Cameron Jefferies was in the foster care system for three years.
"When I had got out I was thinking about where I was going to go, where I was going to stay at, where I was going to eat, where I was going to shower at," he said.
"It means a lot. It helps me out a lot. Shoot if it wasn't for them, I'd be doing bad right now, I'd probably be homeless."
HUD estimates more than 20,000 people age out of the foster care system every year and 25 percent of them experience homelessness.
With the use of community resources, PRHA officials want to make sure every young adult who has been through foster care has access to safe, affordable housing and are supported to reach self-sufficiency and their education and employment goals.