08.26.2021

New Pandemic Aid Program Helps to Stabilize Hundreds of Foster Care Alums

By Desiree Lindsay, Treehouse Public Relations Coordinator

As we head in to month 19 of the pandemic, many of the emergency resources that have been in place to help provide security, such as unemployment benefits and an eviction memorandum, are coming to an end.  

For the thousands of young adults who age out of foster care and extended foster care in Washington state every year, this can bring a unique set of challenges. However, hundreds of young adults have received some reprieve through a new and time-limited federal relief program to support alumni of foster care through this transition.  

Treehouse is partnering with the Washington State Department of Children, Youth and Families to distribute nearly $1.65 million in economic aid through the Washington Foster Care Pandemic Aid program, which will provide direct cash assistance to young adult alumni of foster care ages 23-26.  

Read on to see how this critical support is helping reduce financial barriers for the nearly 3,000 eligible young adults across the state. 

One applicant was incredibly worried about paying August rent. She was so excited to hear about these funds and once approved, she was immediately able to put it towards rent. Treehouse staff also provided her with some other resource suggestions and confirm her eligibility to access the Treehouse Store for her and her two young sons. 

Between the pandemic and various roommate issues, one applicant was couch surfing for the last few months. Their work hours were recently reduced, so they’re struggling to save money for a new apartment and they don’t have a large support network to access. This program will help them secure stable housing. 

A Launch Success participant learned about this program from their Treehouse coach and the funds are going to help them set up an emergency fund and get new interview clothes. 

Due to the pandemic, this applicant was both unemployed and experiencing homelessness. He heard about this program and quickly applied. He was incredibly grateful for the direct cash assistance since he will be able to use it towards getting an apartment and filing a custody petition for his young daughter.  

 

One recipient sent us this note: “This is a lifesaver, I had to quarantine for two weeks and was unable to work during that time, so this is a huge relief knowing I’ll be able to pay my bills this month.” 

A Launch Success participant is facing various obstacles as she’s working to get custody of her younger siblings that are experiencing foster care. This funding will help her with rent and resources for her younger siblings. 

These are just a few of the many stories highlighting what an important opportunity this is for our young adult alumni of care as they work to recover from this pandemic.  

The deadline to apply is September 24 and there are still many eligible young adults who may not know about this resource. Help us reach them by sharing with your networks!  

To learn more about Washington Foster Care Pandemic Aid and obtain resources to share with your networks, visit treehouseforkids.org/pandemic-aid

 

 

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About the Author

Desiree Lindsay is the Public Relations Coordinator at Treehouse, where she elevates the voices and experiences of the youth we serve.


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