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‘New Day’ Transitional Living

February 22, 2010

Former foster children are one of our country’s most vulnerable groups. Studies show that without ongoing support, young people who have grown up in state custody are more likely to have trouble finding and maintaining employment and completing even a high school education. They are more likely to have trouble managing mental and physical health issues, and they have a significantly higher chance than the rest of the population of becoming homeless.

In 1999, Youth Villages, through a grant from The Day Foundation, began a transitional living program to help youth ages 17-22 transitioning out of state custody get a good start on adulthood. In North Carolina, the transitional living program is called “New Day,” and counselors help young people such as Sicoia (pictured) learn to deal with the minor and major problems that come with adulthood. Because of the New Day program, she is working her way through college. “I like it,” she said. “I know how to live my own life now.”

They help participants find housing and health services, learn how to access transportation and meet their basic needs. Counselors teach such life skills as budgeting, menu planning and grocery shopping. They help young people learn the skills needed to find and keep jobs, and sometimes help them reunite with their families.

In 2009, The Day Foundation granted $1 million so Youth Villages could begin the transitional living program in North Carolina.

The New Day program has helped more than 100 young people in Durham, Guilford and Wake counties this year.

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