Empty Frames Initiative looks to fill an unmet need, the transitional stage between dependency and independence among youth exiting state care. Although there are options available to youth as they leave the foster care system, they usually have difficulty navigating the opportunities, engaging in healthy relationships with others in their community & finding people they can rely on and offer guidance should something go wrong. Youth aging out of the state care system often find themselves in extremely vulnerable positions and in need of assistance.
The US Children’s Bureau surveyed 21 year old foster care alumni and found that 42% had experienced homelessness in the past two years.
LOWER GRADUATION RATES
At age 17, over one quarter (27%) had, at some point during their lifetimes, been referred for substance abuse assessment or counseling. Fourteen (14%) percent at age 19 and 10% at age 21 reported having had a referral within the past two years.
Young women in foster care are almost twice as likely as their peers not in foster care to become pregnant by age 19.
Of 16,480 foster alumni polled by the United States Children’s Bureau 33% of 17 yr olds had been incarcerated at some point. By 21, when only 7,799 responded to the survey, 20% had been incarcerated in the past two years.
Around the world, youth aging out of state care are put into vulnerable positions. It’s not uncommon for these young adults to age out, try to navigate this new road on their own, and then become susceptible to traffickers, get involved in criminal life, or commit suicide. We look to challenge cultural paradigms by shifting perspectives and encouraging people to take part in filling empty frames.
In response to this immense need we want to empower orphaned and vulnerable youth aging out of state care. How do we hope to do this? We are looking to open a facility that will provide counseling, training in life skills, community and the knowledge of the gospel. We hope to take abandoned buildings, restore and renovate them into facilities that will provide hope, healing and the power to carry on. We believe that the empty frames of these buildings reflect the empty frames in people's lives and that by restoring these broken places we can take part in restoring broken people, including ourselves.
He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8
A major aspect of this dream is engaging the church, and asking them to love and impact society. The Lord asks us to walk humbly with Him. He asks for a relationship. Our hope and prayer is that this initiative would be an outpouring of a relationship with Christ and that many would come to know Him through it.