In times of crisis, we as believers look to Christ. We are also called to look after our families, the body of Christ, and our neighbors. That is how it’s meant to be. So what happens when people don’t have family to lean on? What happens when there is no support system for you in a time of crisis?
There's an entire population of young adults and vulnerable individuals, right now, facing the COVID-19 crisis without a support system.
In our work with young adults who transitioned out of foster care, we see the struggle on any given day to make ends meet, and the current panic surrounding the COVID-19 virus seems to point to an inevitable, additional crisis for these individuals. Specifically, the concept of being encouraged to stay quarantined or “self isolated” while having hours/entire shifts cut at work when the job was barely making ends meet. For young adults who are also parents, an additional hurdle is faced: having no support system to watch their children while they pursue short-term employment opportunities.
In addition to the problems faced by our “aged out” population, this virus impacts the foster care system as a whole. In person visits with biological families have been put on hold in certain parts of EFI’s state, North Carolina. Foster care licensing classes are on hold, leading to less families available for children in care. Children in abusive home life situations are now home 24/7 because our schools are closed, and we have to wonder how Child Protective Services will be able to handle new reports that come in during this time.
In the midst of the chaos we all feel right now, if you have even a moment to spare, would you pray for those who have been living in chaos and now live in a compounded chaos?
-Children in foster care
-Children who will need to be placed in foster care after this has passed
-Social workers of every department
-Government officials who must pay attention to the crisis being created
-Youth who have aged out of care and are trying to get through this alone
There are people making a difference — right now — that you can support now or later:
-Together We Rise is coordinating housing for foster youth who were in college and don’t have somewhere else to go home to now that many dorms have closed.
-Congregations for Kids in Charlotte, NC has been collecting gift cards to distribute to foster youth and youth recently "aged out" of care.
-U-haul has offered 30 days of free storage for college youth displaced by the virus
-Enterprise Rent-A-Car has been waiving the "young renter" fees and lowered their minimum age so that college individuals 18-24 could rent during this time (now through May 31, 2020)
-Food pantries already in place in your area: look for ways to collaborate. Contact them directly, see if the people you want to help are already receiving their help or are aware of their existence!
-If you stay connected with Empty Frames Initiative during this time, we will let you know if there are additional ways you can support our work to empower orphaned and vulnerable youth that transition out of state care.
Finally, if you can, please look out for your neighbor during this time. If you need someone to look out for you, please reach out to your support network (or even to us). You’re not alone right now or ever.
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33