I was in Transitional Housing from July 2003 to July 2004. I’m doing great and I thank Krista and its staff for working with me and helping me develop the skills that I needed to learn before I emancipated out of the foster care system.
I am currently working two jobs, about 30-50 hours a week. During the day, I work at the California Department of Social Services, working with the Foster Care Ombudsman’s Office. And at night, I work at a Mexican restaurant. I’m also attending Sacramento City College. My major is social work. I still live independently. I’ve been able to maintain all my bills and keep an apartment for almost two years. If there was advice that I could give to current foster youth who are planning on getting into Transitional Housing, I would say these few things:
– Save as much money as you can—get a part-time job while in school. The more money you save, the more it’s going to help you out.
– Make goals while in THPP. Have something to look forward to when you get out of THPP.
– Go to college. It’s free and there’s so much money out there for foster youth.
– Don’t break the rules.
THPP is there to help you, they are giving you a chance to grow as a person and live independently. For instance, we’re older, we don’t want to be in foster homes or in unfamiliar places. That’s why THPP is so good because it gives you a chance before you’re 18 and while you’re still in high school to establish your own life. It’s well worth it in the long run and it definitely pays off in the end.
I’ve learned a lot from the program director and THPP. I was very lucky to walk away and learn so much. If it wasn’t for THPP, I probably wouldn’t be where I’m at today. It helped me get a taste of the “real world” before I had to actually go in it. It’s not an easy road at all, but what I learned in THPP definitely made that road a lot easier.