The Relatives’ Family Update – July 2018
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It takes an entire community to help transition youth and young adults in crisis to stability and independence.
Transitioning Young Adults to Independence
Many of us cannot imagine growing up in multiple environments as children. That was the unfortunate reality for a young man named Kenneth. From age 6, Kenneth bounced from foster home to foster home after escaping an abusive home life as a child. As a teenager, Kenneth heard about The Relatives from a close friend who had been coming to our resource center. After receiving resources and working with a case manager, Kenneth found the stability he needed after moving into our transitional living home.
The Relatives transitional living program provides housing for young men who have aged out of foster care. Many of these young men find themselves without any support systems upon turning 18. The goal of our transitional living program is to first and foremost provide housing and food for these young men, but also to give them a support system that will teach necessary skills to maintain employment, reach educational goals, and sustain successful independent living.
It’s been a busy summer for the Kenneth and his peers living at our transitional living home thanks to several Charlotte groups. Recently, the house has seen much needed updates including brand new bedroom, living room, and dining room furniture courtesy of IKEA, Elevation Church, Bank of America, and the Hornets. In addition to new furniture, there is fresh paint, new lighting, and beautiful landscaping.
“It’s been a valuable experience for the young men to get to spend time with the volunteers and because of them, the house has brand new living spaces that the young men are extremely thankful for”, said Desmond Rushing, the Program Supervisor for our transitional living home.
In 2017, The Relatives’ housing program found homes for 31 young adults, like Kenneth, facing homelessness in Mecklenburg County. Kenneth who is now 20, has maintained employment, is applying for Central Piedmont Community College, and will be getting his first apartment after graduating the program. With your continued support, the number of success stories will only grow.
A Night to Remember
This month, our youth and young adults attended an experience unlike any other at the first Relatives Prom. It was an occasion that so many of them have never been able to experience. You can only imagine the joy that came from dressing up, having your makeup done, and letting loose for the evening to get your mind off of any crisis situations.
Thank you to Draught Charlotte for sponsoring the event and graciously hosting us! We would also like to thank each person who donated attire, shoes, makeup, and corsages, as well as the volunteers who helped make the night such a success.
Welcome to the Family
We are excited to welcome April Vahey to our development department. April was at the Mint Museum for 6 years and most recently with the McColl Center for Art and Innovation for 4 years. She will be joining The Relatives as our Development Officer.
EFSP Federal Funding Cut
In May, we received news that after 21 years, Mecklenburg County would be losing its Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) funding from FEMA. The funding cut directly impacts nine charitable human services organizations in Charlotte by $500,000 – including The Relatives.
To read more about how this will affect our agency click here.
2018 Career Expo
Last year, 179 young adults who received services at our Resource Center were placed into employment opportunities. On Thursday, August 9th, The Relatives will be hosting the annual Career Expo at the uptown location of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. The expo is an excellent way for the young adults we serve to network and explore job opportunities with local Charlotte businesses.
If you’re interested in how to get involved, contact our Employment Readiness Specialist, Audrey Howard, at (704) 501-8246 or email@example.com.