Homeless Teens Aging Out of Foster Care Are Being Built Tiny Homes and Taught Life Skills

There’s a commonality that not everyone knows about kids who grow up in foster care. When the child turns 18, they’re suddenly put out into the street, or they could be. The foster families and the state no longer have obligations to these vulnerable young people. Many states do provide free college tuition to former foster kids, but the problem is that many of them don’t have the life skills necessary to navigate the college system. Typically, someone has to take a special interest in them for that to happen. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen. My mom was a foster kid and she had her own happy ending, but there were some tough years before she found it.

By the time many of these aged-out foster care youth turn 24, only about 50% of them have jobs. There are some good organizations in many states that assist former foster kids and one of them is Pivot Inc, an Oklahoma nonprofit organization. With funding from many national and local businesses, Pivot has helped build some tiny homes behind their offices for kids who have aged out of foster care. In addition to having a place to live, these young adults receive therapy, clothing, and even life skills like budgeting and cooking. All of this together helps them to become more independent.

It can also make them employable. It’s famously difficult to find a job when you’re homeless. Just the logistics of having to take a shower, shave, have neatly ironed clothing, etc…makes a job search for a homeless person very challenging. The tiny homes that Pivot builds allow the young people to ease into financial independence slowly. They’re first paying $0 in rent for the first month, then they begin to pay $100 a month for the second and third months. When the fourth month comes around, they pay up to $125 per month. From six months and onward, the rent is $150, and the kids never have to move if they can’t.

They can stay in the homes as long as they need to,. The goal is to eventually have 84 of these tiny homes on the Pivot campus. Watch the video below for more information.