The SAFE Alumni Program serves young people who have aged out of the foster care system, ensuring that they have the support and resources they need to succeed.
Young people aging out of foster care generally do not have the family and supportive community necessary to survive and thrive. Foster care alumni frequently have disabilities (both emotional and physical), and/or come from vulnerable populations, including the LGBTQIA+ community and immigrant communities.
At SAFE, we know that these young people have higher risks of additional violence, abuse, exploitation, negative health outcomes, and higher levels of poverty and incarceration. We also know that they have limited support and very few places to turn to for help when a crisis occurs.
The SAFE Alumni Program provides clients with everything they need to move into independent living, free from violence and sexual exploitation.
The Alumni Program is a peer-to-peer service that focuses on creating a community of survivors and building individual leadership skills. We do this through a weekly drop-in center, monthly leadership meetings, individual support session, and regular assistance navigating community resources.
Staff work with foster care alumni to build trust and help them realize their full potential. In 2019, SAFE provided over 1,400 hours of service to 67 youth, sometimes providing one particular youth with over 200 hours of direct service.
And we know that the program works because our clients tell us. In fact, 38% of youth involved in the program were referred by other youth in the program.
Here is what our clients say:
“Thank you so much for truly seeing me and for not judging me. I can’t tell you what that means to me!”
“The Alumni Program is amazing. I felt comfortable instantly, and love the energy, acceptance, and instant support. Plus I’ve accomplished more in the first two weeks than I have in years of services in other places!!!”
“I brag about (The Alumni Program) all the time… How every time I am with (an Alumni Navigator), we somehow always end up being productive unintentionally! Whenever I have needed to do things, (the Navigator) strongly encourages me to do them right there
and then. She will drop everything to make sure I succeed and that means a lot to me, to have someone support and believe in me! Now, I am doing things I didn’t think I could get done. You’ve helped me in ways I didn’t know I could be helped. Thank you.”
“You are changing lives. If I hadn’t made the call to SAFE and met you after I got kicked out, I think I would have taken my life. I cannot thank you enough for everything you’ve done to help me.”