Our Independent Living Program supports young adults who have aged-out of the Iowa Foster Care system. This program is important to these vulnerable young adults now more than ever. According to the National Foster Youth Institute only 50% of young adults who age out will have gainful employment by the age of 24, there is less than a 3% chance that a young who age out will earn a college degree, and 70% of females who age out are pregnant by the time they’re 21. These statistics were already working against them and now they’re piling on the stress of a worldwide pandemic.

The Foundation 2 Independent Living Advocates are committed to support these young people in beating the odds. They work hard to support their clients to be motivated and confident about the future. So, what have they been up to over the last month? A LOT! When we reached out about some of the ways they’ve been assisting their clients we were blown away. Here are just some of the ways they’re offering a helping hand:

  • Virtually walking several clients through the unemployment process
  • Providing alternatives to maintain financial security
    • Payment plans and local assistance programs
    • Donating plasma
    • Selling unneeded items
  • Helping them look to the future and think positively
    • Completing FAFSA forms for the fall and college applications
  • Assuring clients are up to date on their health insurance status
    • Reapplying for Medicaid when necessary
  • Providing resources for food pantries
  • Providing the Iowa Legal Aid hotline for clients who are being threatened with eviction
  • Assisting with food stamp applications
  • Registering for GED programs
  • Helping set up a virtual hospital tour for a pregnant client

For one team alone, 38% of clients have currently lost their job (working in industries including daycares, colleges, food industry and hotels) while 5% have seen a reduction in hours as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Advocate Cristal Boeding highlighted the beneficial role technology is playing in the pandemic, “The ability to FaceTime, video chat and Skype with our clients allows us to be flexible and still be there as a support during a very uncertain time.”

We’re incredibly proud of our dedicated team, who are making the lives of young adults more manageable during this time and being adaptable in a rapidly changing environment. Our gratitude extends to the Department of Human Services who is allowing remote visits during this time and the Junior League of Cedar Rapids who continues to provide our young adults with critical scholarships to help meet their basic needs. If you’re interested in supporting one of our young adults include, “ILP support” in your donation. We are committed to using 100% of this donation to directly support a young adult to meet their basic needs. Donate at https://www.foundation2.org/donate



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