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COMPASS Programs

Supportive Housing

Transitional Housing

Transitional Housing Program (THP)

When young adults age out of foster care, they lose all resources and support they had, leaving them to fend for themselves. Many lack the support, skills and knowledge needed to transition into adulthood safely and successfully. David and Margaret is one of the leading regional providers of services and programs for young adults transitioning out of foster care and into independent living. 

50% of youth who age out of foster care either become incarcerated or face immediate homelessness.

The THP fights this statistic by providing these youth with safe apartment housing. Rent and utilities are paid for and basic home furnishing is provided.

Participants also receive:

  • Life-skills workshops
  • Vocational training
  • Career coaching
  • Paid internships 
  • Mental health support
  • Case management 
  • Community resources 
  • Employment/educational support 
  • Essential linkages to community resources

These resources ensure these young adults gain the skills, tools, knowledge, and support needed to lead self-sufficient, independent lives after graduation from the program.

Transitional Housing Program Video Produced with a grant from New York Film Academy - Los Angeles Director: Lucia Florez; Producer: Drama Del Rosario: Director of Photography: Faisal Aldakheel: Sound Mixer: Asem Nurlanova: Editor: Lucia Florez


For more information

Talk to your county social worker, or come to one of our orientations held every Wednesday from 1:00-4:00 p.m. in the COMPASS Point Drop-In Center, located in the basement of the Whitney Building. 

D&M offers different types of independent living programs for young adults.

For 18-21 year olds with open cases at DCFS (If you are interested and your case is closed, click here for assistance):

For 21-25 year olds who have a closed DCFS case: 

Rapid Re-Housing program for young adults over 18 years of age that focuses on moving youth that are homeless into housing as quickly as possible

  • For information please send an email  regarding the Rapid Re-housing program. 

For more info about Transitional Living Programs for youth aging out of foster care, please reach out to us at COMPASS@davidandmargaret.org 

 

PTSD in Foster Youth

The conversation around post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has long centered around the experiences of veteran soldiers who have been on the frontlines of combat. While veterans are diagnosed with PTSD at alarming rates, foster youth are two times more likely to experience PTSD in adulthood. The Northwest Foster Care Alumni Study found that one in four participants displayed PTSD symptoms in the past year, and over half of participants presented additional mental health challenges such as depression, social phobia, and panic syndrome.

One of the necessary indicators of a PTSD diagnosis is the presence of a traumatic event. Youth placed in state custody are more than likely to have endured physical abuse, sexual abuse, or neglect in some form. Some studies report up to 90% of youth entering care have experienced at least one traumatic event, with half experiencing four or more traumatic events (Stein et al., 2001).

Trauma experienced in youth and young adulthood can have lasting impacts on the outcomes of this population. Less than 2% of former foster youth earn a college degree and one-third live below the poverty line (The Harvard Crimson). The impact of poor mental health, lack of education and resources, and often no support system to fall back on, youth with trauma exposure and/or PTSD are also far more likely to turn to drugs and alcohol as coping mechanisms, which can lead to risk-taking behavior and further involvement with the state.

Unlike veterans, the foster care system has not been set up to treat youth with PTSD and other mental illnesses. As more research about the relationship between foster youth and trauma develops, more resources become available to youth in care. In 2011, California passed AB-181, commonly referred to as the Foster Youth Mental Health Bill of Rights, guaranteeing foster youth access to appropriate and necessary mental health screenings and services free of charge. While this is an important step in the right direction for youth in state custody, many are subjected to long wait times for treatment from overburdened and underpaid healthcare professionals.

COMPASS Programs work to bridge the gap for transitional age youth and the services they need. Being a participant in COMPASS Programs comes with access to on-site counseling services and linkages to trusted community partners with expertise in trauma-informed care for foster youth. While receiving the mental health care they need, young adults can work towards independence with the assistance of the COMPASS Training Program (CTP), where they receive paid job training in a field of their interest or monetary compensation for attending college classes. In 2020, 100% of participants in COMPASS’s Transitional Housing Program were either employed, enrolled in school, or actively working to remove barriers to entry for education or employment through the CTP. COMPASS is helping disadvantaged youth cope with trauma and develop a path to independence by providing the necessary resources and support that so often go overlooked for this population.

COMPASS Programs would not exist without the support of our generous donors! Check out our new tiered donation system to learn how you can make a direct impact on the lives of the wonderful young adults at COMPASS Programs!

Our Impact This Year

  • Youth & Families Served

    785

  • Volunteer Hours

    1148

  • Youth Internship Hours

    231

  • Housing Provided

    46

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