“When I was struggling with housing last year, a friend told me about First Place for Youth. Things started to get better as soon as I had a place to live,” said Lani, a My First Place participant in Oakland. “Being more stable meant I could finally focus on my goals instead of where I was going to sleep.”
For Lani and the hundreds of foster youth like her who First Place serves each year, having somewhere to live is one important step toward a brighter future. But our work doesn’t stop there.
“Coming out of high school into adulthood, a lot of the ‘simple’ things can be difficult if you don’t have your parents,” explained Lani. “But with First Place, I can reach out to my team, and they’re always there for me to help me figure out how to handle the essentials.”
The individualized guidance and genuine personal connection our young people receive from their First Place team allows them to identify and pursue their goals in a safe, supportive environment. We’re there every step of the way to help them build the skills for self-sufficiency and long-term success in school, work, and life.
“It hasn’t all been easy,” Lani admits. “I was working at a bar in Berkeley at the start of year, but the pandemic shut it down. I was able to start a new job as a nanny in August, and it’s been a really good fit for me because I like working with kids. I’m hoping to become a children’s therapist and am studying psychology at Alameda College.”
Despite the new challenges we faced in 2020, First Place has remained steadfast in our dedication to our young people and to removing barriers to success and changing the odds so all foster youth can thrive in adulthood.
Your support is vital to providing the comprehensive services that our young people rely on in their transition to independence.