Providing Foundation of Future Housing Stability for Families and Youth

For any family or young person, the fear of losing your home can create life-alerting instability and trauma. That’s why Franklin County Children Services works closely with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) to build a foundation for future housing stability.

Last year, FCCS collaborated on 25 housing choice vouchers through HUD’s Family Unification Program to provide stability for youth leaving foster care and for families for whose lack of stable housing became a barrier to child safety. 

“Without this program, we might never be able to close some of these cases, because it would be very hard for families to find housing for themselves,” said FCCS Caseworker Vilma Lobo, recognizing that the vouchers are a huge benefit for families who have completed their case plans and just need a safe place to live to be reunified.  

Obtaining stable housing is vital to keeping families together, especially during a difficult economic climate. 

Thanks to the vouchers a single mom stopped living in a motel with her five children and moved into a four-bedroom home; a father who was recently released from prison started a new life with his 5-year-old son in an apartment; a grandmother left a homeless shelter and moved into a home with her mother and three teenagers; and a young adult with significant mental health challenges moved into her own apartment. 

During 2023, vouchers were awarded to 19 former foster youth and six families. 

As youth involved with FCCS prepare to leave foster care, they work with our agency’s Youth Transition Services caseworkers to plan for their employment, schooling, and living situations. Typical housing options include an apartment, a host home with a supportive adult, or a college dorm. 

The vouchers are a valuable resource for youth once they no longer qualify for transitional living assistance from the agency at age 21. In addition to rental assistance, the program provides supportive services so young people can learn to manage money, prepare for jobs or education, and take on household responsibilities.

According to Cassie Snyder, Associate Director of Adoption and Youth Transition Services, the help provided by the vouchers is desperately needed. 

“With the increasing price of rent locally, not all young people are able to consistently meet the income threshold to fully support themselves once post emancipation services end,” she said. Young people can escape homelessness and build a foundation for future stability. 

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