Over the past few weeks, our class has been very busy meeting with our three finalist organizations: American Foundation of Counseling Services, Family Services of Northeast Wisconsin and House of Hope. All three had fantastic proposals and we were very excited to be able to meet the people behind the projects.
AFCS was the first we met with when they joined us in class for a presentation on their Kamp Kare program. This summer program serves foster youth ages 9 to 17 and helps them to learn the skills essential to life after being in foster care including job applications, how to rent an apartment, how to budget their money, etc.
Second, our class took a trip to visit the Family Services drop-in site for their Transitional Living program. For this proposal, Family Services is requesting money to cover the rent payments that they make for previously homeless youth, which is something that many of their grants will not fund. The drop-in site is a place where these youth come to meet with case managers, do laundry, get help with job applications, and just socialize and enjoy themselves.
Finally, our class visited with House of Hope which is a homeless shelter for women ages 18-24 with children. Their proposal is asking us to help fund a new program that they are working on that provides job training to these women and partners with local companies that will then hire them on an on-call basis, which could eventually lead to a permanent job.
All three of these visits were incredibly eye-opening on the issue of homelessness among youth in our community. We are excited to have a great class discussion and decide exactly where our money is going in the coming days!