Volunteers renovate homes in support of youth aged out of foster care system

Volunteers are hard at work preparing the newest house for teens who age out of the foster care system. Now, six more of San Antonio's youth will have a safe place to live while working toward their future.

SAN ANTONIO - Volunteers are hard at work preparing the newest house for teens who age out of the foster care system.
 
Now, six more of San Antonio's youth will have a safe place to live while working toward their future.
 
"I think the number one thing that we do is we teach them that they can actually have what they want," Renee Garvens, Senior Director of Community and Donor Relations for Roy Maas Youth Alternatives  said.
 
The newest home on San Antonio's northwest side, purchased by a generous donor, is part of Roy Maas Youth Alternatives' Turning Point program.
 
The program takes care of 18 to 22-year-olds who are homeless or who have aged out of foster care. They're currently supporting 26 individuals.
 
"We try to build their confidence because I think that's the biggest contributing factor to why these kids can't break the cycle of abuse, neglect, abandonment, the things that have happened to them in their lives," Garvens said.
 
When young people find themselves unprepared for the responsibilities of adulthood and without the skills necessary to live independently, they end up homeless, too often drug-addicts, some turn to prostitution and many end up in jail.
 
The China Grove Lions Club is the latest organization to lend a helping hand.
 
"To furnish the house, get dishes, towels, sheets, kitchen gadgets, appliances, paint it and basically make this house a home," Shelly Chance, Secretary of the China Grove Lions Club said.
 
Since February, donations poured into the club from all over the San Antonio area. Even strangers from Dallas contributed so these residents would have a nice place to live.
 
"We've had people that have donated whatever talent they've got. So when I get a phone call, I say, 'Well, what do you like to do?' 'I like to paint.' 'Ok, you're on the painting crew'," Chance said.
 
The club originally planned to renovate one room, but thanks to the level of support they will revamp the entire home.
 
"If we can fix the aesthetic and the comfort of where they're living, whatever little bit that does to their psychology is awesome," Chance said.
 
Residents in the program will either get a job, go to school or both. A portion of what they make will pay rent and also start a savings account to have once they leave the program. 
 
Garvens said, thanks to a grant, the residents' savings fund will be matched to help them even more financially.
 
"I really hope they're proud of where they live and that it gives them some dignity and some inspiration to want to have nice things and make their lives point in the right direction, and know that there's people in the community who care for them," Chance said.
 
Move-in day is scheduled for May 1, 2017.
 
The Roy Maas Youth Alternatives’ Turning Point Transitional Living Program is the only one of its kind that houses homeless teens and kids that age out of foster care.
 
For more information click here.
 

© 2017 KENS-TV


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