Wednesday, May 17, 2023
BLOC15, Oakland, CA
In 1998, First Place for Youth founders Amy Lemley and Deanne Pearn launched the First Place Fund when they were graduate students at the University of California at Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy. The fund provided financial literacy education and one-time micro-loans to help former foster youth pay their first and last month’s rent. The program launched with four individuals – Michelle, Farvaz, Regina, and Anthony.
Twenty-five years later, First Place for Youth’s My First Place program and systems change initiatives address homelessness, workforce development, education, and equity throughout Northern and Southern California and select regions across the country. What started with four individuals has expanded into a national network of direct services and advocacy for older foster youth, with a focus on extended foster care. To date, we have provided housing and supportive services to more than 11,000 young people in California and tens of thousands more through our systems change efforts across the nation.
By the time they exit our My First Place program 88% of youth attain stable housing and 97% avoid arrest. Learn more about our impact and visit our My First Place page.
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