PODCAST 3: Aging out of Foster Care
Updated: Jan 14
Last week, R.E.S.T. Centres released the third episode of Homelessness in Hiding: Our Youth Between the Cracks, where host Mya Moniz interviews Charlene April, the founder of Creating Roots Canada, a non-profit dedicated to preventing youth foster care leavers from becoming homeless. They discuss Charlene's experiences in foster care, why many foster adolescents become homeless after turning 18, and what we can do to help them avoid it.
In the podcast, interviewer Mya and Charlene discuss the issues with renting and landlords. Amongst the barriers that youth face when accessing housing after aging out of foster care includes: providing a credit check reports, some youth may have no credit background. Secondly having a co-signer or guarantor, with little or no contact with family members youth who age out may not have access to individuals to act as guarantors or co-signers.
According to The Mix, some renting agents and landlords have 'no student' restrictions because of stereotypes about youth being rowdy or causing problems for their neighbours. Consequently, it is riskier to rent to someone who does not make a regular paycheck. Furthermore, a landlord has the right to reject someone down depending on their financial situation (Shore, 2016).
Additionally, Charlene talks about her experiences in her childhood. “Growing up with biological mother, I often had to be ten steps ahead of her – I had to be so aware of her mood, of where she was in the house and how she had been doing. I just had to be so aware of everything about her so I wouldn’t get into trouble for anything that happened to cross her mind that day. I learned at a very young age how to look into the future on multiple avenues and how to solve problems on each avenue and do it all at once and do it quickly while being homeless. It’s a trauma response but it has helped me build and create roots.”
One of the primary reasons for youth homelessness is family dysfunction. Maltreatment by parents or family members has an influence on a child's choice to leave home. Furthermore, bad communication in the home might lead to situations where a teenager feels compelled to flee conflict or mistreatment. Observably, this can cause an increase in mental health issues, drug abuse, harassment and criminal activity, risky sexual activities, and hurdles to school and work which are all repercussions of homelessness for kids. These issues add to society's burden by increasing the expense of finding solutions to care for these youngsters.
To learn more about this topic and many others linked to understanding youth homelessness, hop on Spotify of Amazon Music to listen to the third episode of Homelessness in Hiding: Our Youth Between the Cracks.
Shore, A. (2016, April 26). Discrimination by landlords. The Mix. Retrieved December 6, 2021, from https://www.themix.org.uk/housing/housing-problems/discrimination-by-landlords-7920.html.
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