With two different tracks in our Next Step Housing program, youth can now live in their own apartment with the security of a support system and a life-skills education, preparing them for successful independence.
THRU Project’s Next Step Housing Program started in 2018 with a grant from The Nancy Smith Hurd Foundation and continues with the generous support from Valero, Highland Commercial Properties, United Way of San Antonio & Bexar County, The Walthall Charity Fund of the San Antonio Area Foundation, and the Texas Housing Finance Corporation.
The housing program to me means security, a home of my own, and a place I can feel at ease. The goals I feel like I can accomplish now are everything! I feel a sense of stability and safety in the environment I create and it feels so satisfying. I have the foundation for my skills to shine in school and the workplace. As a result, I am able to focus on self improvement goals with my mental health to benefit me in the future.
– Jada Next Step Housing College Program Participant
THRU Project has graduated 20 youth to date from the program. After years of working with and listening to our former foster youth, we designed a program we knew would be successful based on their needs and the gaps former foster youth experience in crucial life skills.
Our programs are unique because we provide an apartment, RENT-FREE, for one full year while also providing support services and requiring youth to learn the basic life skills we all need to live independently. Once youth are accepted into our housing program, they are introduced into their new apartment. THRU Project is able to provide some of the necessary basic needs to help furnish their first apartment with the help of monetary donations and physical donations of specific household items.
Having this opportunity of a rent-free apartment for a year allows our youth to focus on other areas of their life like elevating their job status, applying for college or trade school, or both. While in our program, THRU Project works with the youth to tailor a budget to their needs and help them adjust it as their needs change. We assist them in opening a savings account in their name and the importance and peace of mind that savings provide. Once our youth have completed our program, they either take ownership of their current lease or they move where they wish.
Since we started this program, THRU Project has re-tooled the program to meet the specific needs of the youth where they are in life. THRU’s housing program has expanded to three different housing programs:
- SIL – Supervised Independent Living (extended foster care)