Providing a Path Forward
Crystal was in the foster care system since she was a little girl, after being removed from her home due to physical abuse and drug use by both parents. She is now 26 years old. She first came in contact with The RightWay Foundation when she was 21 and looking for housing assistance. She had aged out of the foster care system and directly into homelessness.
When she first showed up to RightWay’s offices, it was clear she was just going through the motions of taking RightWay’s intensive trauma-informed job readiness program. She was offered therapy due to her history with domestic violence. But she wasn’t ready. She rejected the services and went back on the streets. Several years passed and Crystal was in an abusive relationship with a new girlfriend, living with this person and taking the abuse because she didn’t want to live back on the streets. But the abuse became too much. With nowhere to go, Crystal resorted to reconnecting with her family, the same family that abused her as a child. They allowed her to move back home. This time they abused her emotionally. Her family took her money to spend on drugs and alcohol for her father, and if she didn’t pay, they threatened to throw her out. So she paid.
This is when Crystal made the decision to come back to The RightWay Foundation to see if they would still help her. She showed up, and once again they offered her therapy and services. This time she was ready and she accepted. During her therapy sessions, her case manager said Crystal was ready for work, and RightWay helped pay for her guard card training and secured her a well-paying job as a security guard. Crystal has been working for seven months now.
She is determined to become financially stable. She knows she has a problem with saving money because she shops for emotional support, since shopping makes her feel good, like she has a bit of control in her life. With the help of her case manager and the rest of the RightWay team, Crystal is on a path to saving her money and building healthy tools to feel in control of her future. In February, RightWay will be moving her into her own apartment and will be paying half of her rent for up to one year. This is the big break Crystal needs in her life. She continues to see her case manager weekly and feels that she is in a much better space in her life right now. She believes every foster youth that leaves the system needs The RightWay Foundation. RightWay never closed the door on her and made sure she knew that when she was ready, they would be here to help her. And they are.
The RightWay Foundation believes that every foster youth deserves the chance to build a stable life. With employment, therapy, housing, and community, Los Angeles’s most vulnerable foster youth can age out of the system and into a healthy, thriving adulthood.
The first $1,500 will be matched.
The RightWay Foundation’s goal is to help foster care youth transitioning out of the system build their own futures through employment and therapy. But in order to do that, they also need stable housing.
During the pandemic, the need for that stability amidst California’s high rental market became apparent. That’s where “Operation Housing First” comes into play. Rightway is hoping to raise a seed fund of $250,000 to go towards the new project.
The program pays the security deposit and half of each month’s rent for program participants to live in their own apartment for one year. It’s also mindful of each person’s specific needs and chooses rentals located in safe neighborhoods close to their jobs so they can walk or take advantage of public transportation. A donation of $21,600 can help house three young adults working with RightWay for one full year.
Thanks to The Giving List’s novel matching program, all donations of up to $1,500 will be matched.
We at The RightWay Foundation help Transition-Age Foster Youth get and keep good jobs despite the overwhelming trauma they have endured throughout their lives.
Executive Director: Franco Vega
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“My name is Shamyia. I’m 26 years old. At the age of one I became a ward of the court. Most of my childhood I felt as if I was being raised by the system. As I grew older, I felt as if I was numbered and stamped. Between my teenage years and adult life I had no family support, emotional support, or financial support, no guidance or knowledge on what the real world holds. At the age of 16, I completely took on the responsibilities of protecting, providing for, and supporting myself and my one-year-old son. At the age of 18, I emancipated out of the system. My fear of failure was my motivation. The most important strength that got me through it all was faith. In 2018, I entered a life-changing organization, The RightWay Foundation. I was struggling financially on probation and without a home for more than two years. This program is not just only for general helping purposes; this program has supported me with all of my pain, depression, excessive stress, and emotional breakdowns. I had one goal when I entered the program which was to obtain full-time employment. Over the years they have supported me beyond what I expected. I participated in many events and workshops, such as financial literacy, acting, internships, life skills workshops, mentoring, etc.The RightWay Foundation has demonstrated what a supportive family feels like. In August 2021, The RightWay Foundation moved me into my own apartment. One take away: No excuses! As I continue my walk of life.”
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