Rent spikes hit Georgia kids aging out of the foster care system

“Prior to the impact of the current economy, we know 1 in 5 youth immediately upon aging out of foster care, will become homeless.”
Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 6:07 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - There is a critical need for foster parents in Georgia, the Governor now launching a statewide campaign to recruit and retain foster parents. The push comes at a time when high rent prices are creating more barriers for Georgia kids aging out of the foster care system.

People who spend time in foster care have higher rates of unemployment, poverty- there are low high school graduation rates.

”Prior to the impact of the current economy...we know 1 in 5 youth immediately upon aging out of foster care, will become homeless,” said Christie Simons, with Atlanta Angels.

A major barrier is housing and homelessness.

”The rising rent is just going to exacerbate all of that,” said Olivia Maley, Case Manager with Atlanta Angels.

The people at Atlanta Angels are trying to make sure Georgia kids who have spent time in foster care, don’t have to navigate the world alone. One of their programs is called Dare to Dream.

”I work with kids ages 11-22 who are currently in foster care or who have recently aged out,” said Maley.

One of Olivia’s jobs is to help guide kids through renting their first place. She says these kids, many times, have no support, no credit score, no working phone, no car, no idea how to find housing to begin with; now rising rent prices are in the mix as well.

”There is a shortage of housing in the city of Atlanta which is going to most impact the most vulnerable and that, a lot of times, is our kids,” said Maley.

Atlanta Angels provides support for foster kids and parents.

“Because of our programs I feel grateful that is going to change over time- as we wrap support around these kids at a young age, as we provide mentoring, structure and relational support we see quite different outcomes,” said Simons, “Despite what is happening economically.”