At eighteen, youth who are in foster care are no longer the responsibility of the state and are considered “aged out.” With no support system, little if any work experience, and minimal education, many of these young people are unemployed and become homeless. What role can a faith community play in helping these young people become economically independent? Trinity Opportunity Alliance (TOA), a program of North Scottsdale United Methodist Church, identifies potential employers, works with youth serving organizations to match eligible youth with jobs, and supports employers with training and problem solving. Who? Young adults who are aging out of the Foster Care system.Employers who are motivated to help these young people gain work experience. What? A program that connects members of the congregation with business connections with foster youth to provide employment opportunities. Why? Employment gives these young people a hand up, not a hand out. By giving them an opportunity for a supportive work experience, they will become economically independent.
By Rev. Nancy Cushman