Today, we can help. Our passion for this work and our experience with this population enabled us to be selected as the inaugural member of the My First Place Affiliate (MFP) Network. My First Place is an education and employment program developed nearly two decades ago by First Place for Youth™, a California-based nonprofit. Through MFP, youth receive stable, safe and affordable housing, community-based case management, and individualized education and employment support.
In early 2018, we began recruiting young adults for My First Place working with current and former foster youth in Greater Boston. A team of staff including a Youth Advocate, an Education and Employment Specialist, and a Housing Specialist, support our MFP youth in working towards healthy living, education, employment, and housing goals that the youth sets for himself/herself. Our young adults meet with staff weekly, often in the youth’s apartment, school, or workplace. My First Place staff employ a youth-centered, needs-driven, trauma-informed approach to support this population.
Our work in partnering with the Department of Children and Families has enabled us to leverage funding for My First Place. We have also received support from The Boston Foundation, the Kraft Family Foundation, State Street Foundation and Liberty Mutual Foundation as well as individual donors. Our goal is to serve 150 youth within three years.
In Massachusetts, nearly 900 youth transition out of foster care each year. At 18, these young adults need to transition to adulthood which can be very challenging. We know that these young people have experienced tremendous trauma in their lives that often results in staggering rates of homeless, incarceration, pregnancy and unemployment especially when compared to their non-fostered peers.