Gateway Youth Development helps children move from a foster family to a healthy independent life after they age from a foster family.
TALEDA, Ohio – May – National Foster Family Month.
According to Children’s rightschildren’s advocacy organization, much of the children of our country are in foster care.
“There are nearly 424,000 children in foster care in the United States every day.”
Katris Perry, Gateway’s director of youth development, was surprised by the overall fate of the foster children.
“When I started reading the statistics and finding all the data, it was very disturbing that foster children are more likely to commit crimes, they are more likely to be homeless, they are less likely to have a high school diploma,” Perry said. .
She was moved to help after meeting a 12-year-old girl at the library who asked her to call the case manager. She wanted to learn more about the resources available to young people who are in foster care in northwest Ohio.
Perry realized that there weren’t many options for independent living, and she wanted to change that.
She founded Gateway Youth Development to serve young people aged 14 to 18 years. The focus of the organization is to teach these young people life skills so that they can live independently as they age from a foster family.
The organization also has two group homes where 8 teens have their own rooms, and the organization is working to provide a third home.
On June 6, an eight-week life skills training program for all teens aged 14-18 called “Summer of Success” begins.
“I always say,‘ idleness is the devil’s platform ’, so too much free time can lead to poor choices. [Young people] may not want to play football or basketball, but they just want to come and learn how to cook dinner [or] take financial literacy lessons ”.
Perry understands the struggle some young people are going through, she was also once a troubled young man who worked to turn his life around.
“I wasn’t necessarily a foster child, but I was involved with juvenile courts, I quarreled at school, I was fired, all that. I really had to decide what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. ”
On Saturday, May 7 from 18.00 to 21.00, the organization holds the largest fundraiser of the year. Ice Restaurant in the center of Toledo. If you want more information about the event, click here.