While in the My First Place program, young people have their own living space. Having a safe place to call home allows them to imagine positive futures and build a sense of possibility and community while focusing on education and employment goals. Program participants are supported in identifying educational goals and gaining experience in jobs and apprenticeships that build pathways to living-wage employment and high-growth career fields. Each small step they take builds confidence to embark on self-sufficient adult lives.
My First Place serves youth between the ages of 18-25 who are in or emancipating from child welfare or probation systems
Youth entering our program have been in foster care in the custody of the state for an average of nearly eight years, with placements in at least six different foster homes, and have changed schools many times.
Snapshot of our youth entering the My First Place Program in FY2022.
Most have been exposed to multiple traumatic events
The average age that our youth were removed from their homes is age 11
Most have moved through an average of six different homes / placements
In fiscal year 2022, our young adults made great progress in education, employment and finding stable housing when they exited the My First Place Program.
“I appreciate the opportunities I’ve been given and the freedom of having choices available. Finances
and budgeting have been a struggle, but slowly I’m getting better at saving money…”
JAXON, My First Place, Alameda County
My First Place is a nationally recognized education and employment program model that provides housing and case management to foster youth (ages 18-25). With a place to call home, our young adults can focus on education and employment goals, build community, and establish foundations for long-term success. Participants develop good tenancy skills, practice financial literacy skills, and maintain relationships with landlords. By individualizing plans for each youth to progress to living-wage career pathways, this program helps these young adults build the education, networks, and skills to be self-sufficient in the long term.
Individualized Support & Coaching
Achieving Educational and Employment Goals
The My First Place program employs a youth-centered, team-based, housing and case-management approach that supports youth as they transition to self-sufficiency. The MFP team consists of:
Meets weekly to help youth develop healthy living skills, offer personalized support, and help remove education and employment barriers.
Meets bi-weekly to explore and achieve educational and employment opportunities, including GED, higher education, and marketable certifications.
Makes sure each youth has a place to call home; supports move-ins/move-outs, maintenance requests, routine housing inspections, good tenancy and good neighbor skills.
To provide youth-driven individualized and goal-based support and interventions, we employ Motivational Interviewing, Positive Youth Development, and Trauma-Informed Care.
Steps to Success is a structured model of educational and career development support embedded within My First Place and offered to all program participants. Designed to assess young people’s academic and employment readiness when they enter the program, it builds on those individualized assessments to help each young adult obtain the right mix of education, skills, experience, and certifications necessary to achieve self-sufficiency in their career upon program exit.