DREAM HOUSE CONVERSATIONS: Foster Care needs our care!

Wednesday, April 12th

00:18:34

Kimmie opens the Dream House to Unity Care.

Unity Care is a minority-led, strengths-based, family-focused, and culturally proficient youth and family development agency.  Since 1993, our mission is to “provide quality youth and family programs for the purpose of creating healthier communities through lifelong partnerships.”  Each year, Unity Care advocates the most effective form of care for 3,500 at-risk foster children and families to improve their physical, mental, spiritual and emotional well-being.  Unity Care offers innovative community-based, mental health and housing programs with offices in Santa Clara, San Mateo and Placer counties.

 

We have three main objectives:

To provide safe, secure and positive living environments.

To educate at-risk youth.

To prepare our young people to pursue professions chronically under-represented by minorities.

Transcription

The patriots owner Joseph yeah. And you can grandstand Stubbs. Kick bad once again and MTV T he's dreaming I. Discovered that good luck in your post history the teeth of the one and dying cage ZLX dream team. It Jimmy Key inside did you dream house and you know I want everybody mark their calendars right now for May sixth. A gal I'm always looking for a great reason to get dressed up thing get dulled up. And the youth live gala is happening in Mountain View at the computer history museum. And the great thing about that is that the gala benefits one of a cause that's close to my heart and a cause that I know a lot of people are serious about. But we just don't know enough about the benefit is for the unity care program. Which helps our risk and Foster youth so we have a very very very special guest inside the studio. Go ahead and introduce yourself and see Wichita eagle is. Well thank you Kerio appreciate you having us having me here this morning to you I'm an it was a hundred Chapman now on the CEO of unity care. Unity cares a you to fill a development agency here in the Bay Area hung serve kids in Foster care. So about 6000 kits a year. Based between San Jose in all of the class are counting. And we do a variety of different programs from housing to employment. Education and mental health and unconditional care. Really about you know how we ensure that our young kids and are a young our families that are impacted by the Foster care system have great opportunities for success. And so who do you mean when you're trying to match a child with a Foster. What is the commonality. That aid Foster parent. Must have what's like some of the main criteria that you're looking for a for an adult to take on the role as a Foster parent will. First I think that you know it's when we think of kids in Foster care often times there's this myth. That owed this child is living with it mayor bell and the child's going to be okay. In the reality evidence you know there's over 60000 kids in Foster here and California. And you know there at the statistics are really terrific I mean. 60% the kids two years after the fall scare homeless and unemployed their incarcerated there on drugs and often times that's the reality that. You know those kits are not the deck and connected to adults that are providing unconditional care then so we think about the kids that we serve and we're looking for. Homes or relative care Foster parents were looking for those folks. That are going to provide that unconditional care just like many of us had when you think about selling your life and then that was always there free. Because any young person calls you you know on the Sunday at 4 o'clock continue to place. To come eat him wash their clothes and they're nineteen in their health care. With no one really to connect to we want people there that stand in the gap where these chants that treat them no different if you treat your. Own Chilton. And so are do you find. Teenage girls especially they teenage girls and and there are I know being a teenage girl myself. You're going to rule you know peer pressure. You know school on top of that. How he handled that delicate needs of a young girl. In the Foster care system well you know there's this it's that's a great question because a lot of our kids that come to us they come to us with a significant levels of trauma. And when you think about kids many of us right. You can't pick your parents instilled the unfortunate outcome of that is that it's when children have been removed from. Their parents in their place in Foster care at the system becomes their parents been in the system raises them. And often times you removed in your place into a Foster home in all of a sudden it's a news. Neighborhood it's a new school it's a new community you've been removed from your friends you lost connection to the folks at that. You saw it and loved you and all the sudden that trauma follows you wherever you go. And you bounce around from home to home. To you know from Foster home to group home and before you know it. You know you have some significant. This tactic mental health challenges that's a significant trauma. And sold those girls often times becomes subject to. People preying on them play. And so for these kids that come to us. We want to always make sure that one is that. We told them that listen you know on a mistaken you were brought into this world Europe blessing and we need to make sure that you recognize and understand who you are you have self worth. Yes self confidence that you're going to be a leader that you're going to get through this that you have a level resiliency. And that we're gonna help you along the way and that limit tilt the traumas are gonna deal with. You know the connections those relationships and so we're looking for people that can send in the cap for those kids so that. Yes they do have someone that is that one person has to write that unconditional care that unconditional love. Which is always the court to any any person success he can always look back to say there was one person in my life. That was always there for me. Rather that your grandmother. Wrote that certain beer you know that teacher in your classroom and it Corliss who that person looks like and sometimes is not family. And dealt with this organization that you have how has social media impact digit the Foster care system our kids more. They are reaching out for help more because they can do that with confidential late they can reach out TU. You know I didn't seek help you know safely or. Do you find that kids are you know they're more out risky because they have you know predators out there who you know can do it to the kids had had a changer. Policy you know I I think it's it's a little bit of both enemies social media has its great aspects of it and also has is bad aspects of it I think that. You know for me these kids they're looking for love so they're looking to become connect it. And and and and in doing that. You know often times they will reach out in a variety of different vehicles and yes you know social media can be a place where were kinki preyed upon and they get bullied in his and we see that all the time. But for us you know we we tried as to our kits on the benefits of social media. We know now kits are very technologically savvy as a low and we want kids that are in our programs. To on get connected to their therapists are bushel for the case special appointment. Oftentimes you know taxiing and use social media as a way to communicate so you you have to adapt. How you operate to how kits now see the world and it's the curled. Through technology very different today which yet put boundaries on that yes there really is get them and explain to them. You know that there are there are yelled dark shadows around the corner behind the solution it is and that is and she way for people that can connect with kids that you don't want to harm to them. So would you say for somebody out there who is considering you know taking on the role as a Foster parent or you know caring for a child in Foster care. To be aware of social media you know because you know if if the grandparent and grandma. You know it's it's hard to pull it to police senile edicts. And you know it's it's it's often times no different than as community your own kids right I mean. He kits come home and they take that phone and they go on their roomy don't seem for two to so. 44 kids that aren't far skier were trying to normalize that's at that process Wear them and so when. You know we have kits and in our Foster homes earners in our treatment homes. It's we try to normalize that but we're also educating and you know Foster parents and our staff about the awareness of in how do you how do you really managed that and also provide some level oversight. That's great and I do success story is that just him out of your head specific cater specific case that. That she just go back to every time oh. You know absolutely immune I speak to this one young lady that actually spoke at ours at last year and down this young lady. You know came up and told her journey of how are coming into the Foss your system and the trauma such experience and the unfortunate on situation with her mom that brought in to care. And then that journey has she'd been in the system and should move from home to home and and had significant trauma and before you knew achieve. You know you know woke up one day and realize that you know she'd wanna live and how she overcame that and when she came to our program. How you know being connected to our staff really built or self confidence she got back on track with school. On hot opener credits you know graduate from high school and now is attending college and now it's on a way to go to Santa Clara university and so. Those are the kids that we see with the look right level of support love compassion. On mental health services and in connecting to housing. And connecting deposit little role models. You be with you you you can change the trajectory of that young person asks via. That's great and then so how does. One get in contact with the how do you how do you define the unity has to seek out the service as well so so our website is. We're WW dot unity care dot org. We have offices. Throughout the Bay Area. We have services. Throughout the Bay Area. And done you can call us and often times social media can go to our website and connect to us and then we really find out what services. Volunteers looked involved or what services you may be looking for your your young person SO -- if you are as a teen in need they can reach out to you about it Nelson Lewis an open door policy a -- phone policies that have swimming we have school based programs we have community programs we have housing we have mental health clinics. So we have a lot of programs that services. And our children to food and Foster as well as kids that are at Bristol in during the fall secure system. Because our goal is also to minimize the number of kids of color that inner the Foster care system because we see the discourse now if it's a color. That has a negative impact them and so there are variety of ways that you can engage us. And reach out to its reservist at the struggle in school. They can reach out to listen giving gays are some of our high schools. We have tutoring sinners throughout San Jose says a lot of ways to get connected to unity care and how long has unity care parent. You know we turn we will be turning 24 this year. On the organization. Has side. Kind of survived the time the test of time and we served a lot of youth and families that. Lot of artists our youth and families that served come back and work for unity care. And so we consider ourselves truly community were embedded in the community we reflect the communities that we serve. And we are in. Actively engage in ensuring that we're changing policies and practices about how do you effectively. Served kids in Foster care so that we improve the outcome written because young folks that age out of Foss care. That find themselves homeless. Because they have no ability to have a place to live from. And that is a life if further destruction and we want to eradicate the housing issues for these particular young people. I can imagine I mean they would have no advocate. You know for them you know a credit report you know first and month's rent. I mean by 6000. Dollars. And a credit score over 700 just to get housing so if you're coming out of the system. You know that the cars are definitely stacked against you and it's so great that you're there. To kinda you know it's a quarterback you know essentially the past you know they can be successful. Yeah I mean that's the year Graham and dominos may think about it you know when we. Who have kids who we send our kids off at eighteen and go to college. Well they always have a place to come back to you and and when you know that you have home and that gives you self confidence that gives you so it's a safety. That gives you a sense of belonging we'll think about kids in Foster care when they leave Foster homes. At eighteen years owed and therefore they left on their own so imagine being eighteen and not having the ability to call back home and say. Hey listen I need help with my rent or need help with my car needs gas or any you know what ever those. Typical challenges that you face at 18192021. Years so and so that is a huge gap. For us in society and me and I always say that. You know if you have the struggles that we who are trained to work every day that we're experiencing around housing in this Bay Area. Imagine the kits and toss skit that each count. That our health fair. They have no ability no ability to have appropriate and adequate safe and affordable housing. Unless they have a a network of people around him that's gonna facilitate that fourth. And is some sort of like slush fund the long term goal for unity house to just kind of like have a Fort Knox. I'm available fun and so you can give grants of you know congratulations you made it out of the system here's 101000 dollars. To start you know that seed money. Yes they so we you know we have over 200 units of housing for kits and and when kids come into our program that is H on a Foster and they may come into our program and eighteen or nineteen years old that's their homeless. What we we have what's Cody for saving so we're focused. When they come into the program to first help stabilize that. And ensure that they are either going to school or they're working and more folks in on if they're gonna go to school. The folks in them going to college or going to a trade school having some sort of certificate so that they haven't employable scale. We also focus on their employment ability. But more than anything would help them stabilize and help them develop a force savings account. So that when they're in that program for two years or three years by the time they walk out the door every. Penny they paid torture rent is given back to them that is then their therefore use of them Nicol put a down payment. On an apartment they have a force savings would they have some starting place so they don't then find themselves back in the situation they can afford to. And so we make sure that when kids walked out of the doors unity care that they have the ability to have safe and affordable housing because without housing. He can effectively meet all of the other challenges that kids have now and that is one of our core components unity care. And so they gala on May sixth helps go four to fund these houses for these future. You know residents that we're gonna meet. Absolutely you know the thing that our gala that this is our sixty years doing it and when you think about you you flies. If you think about Nam American Idol or. You know American runaway. It is a fun event we're highlighting kids that are. That are perform mean that were highly any kits are doing fashion. In more than anything we're also highlighting kiss their artistic because we take that. Prior to the event we take six months and were working with kids around art and Ensberg hits that are in the Foster care system art. Is very therapeutic to to lay out a Kansas and begin to draw their story in their journey in Eric's life experiences. And we we take those are pieces and we sell those at the gala so kids can opportunist he. You build their their experiences. And how now so what else is recognizing that. So you slide is that you Grady event news and highlights our kids it's a black tie event. And we also honor a community leader and this year honoring Linda Lester and in the lesser is a you know she console long line. Farmers in the Silicon Valley. That Tom is is focused on giving back in and she is focus also help and it's around our housing. Challenges in the valley and supporting kids. And in ensuring that kids have housing. So therefore when he house than they have the ability to go to school and the people to go to work and the deleted it two walker when I skill they yes I feel lights and gills all those loans that they they need nor did go up there and be successful movies and expressed in the United States or be the next CEO of this company or be the next. The next radio host yeah. However that is their journey in their passion is you know we're focused on in this gala is a night where people come out and they celebrate our kits. And they hear great talent loop of the singers that we have that perform are phenomenal. And it's just not kits and fosters kiss from all of the community that come Torre event. And it is a fine in the on fantastic but event. Spencer Christian is our hosts and I mean again it's a great event on how great way for community to come out and say I'm gonna pay forward and get involved. In ensuring that every young person in my community Denon touching. And I'm in Destin. And today we need to do more to invest in markets and our children so they have opportunities. To be successful young adult. So I agree get this deet tails as KB Alexa com. May sixth the youth lagged galaxy. This is what we need we need to. To start at the foundation and you know I think. With there's so much focus on prevention you know which is phenomenal I'll mall for a child abuse prevention. But sometimes the milk spills are sometimes I think some things fall through the cracks and organizations like unity care. You guys have a catchall yes and you know people don't unleashed in I this is news to me you guys have 200 units of housing. And that and it's been around for 24 years you have saved. Thousands of lives. Thousands of lives and how many dreams. Can you help. May come true because you gave these children help and you gave that person. Who was just about to give up. You were their attachments and you know like know your dream can still live counsels sell you know on behalf of KB LAX in the world Andrei this is incredible. People need to hear the story and in the event everybody may sixth this is where it's all about it at the beautiful computer history museum in Mountain View. But did all the details at KB alikes dot com but unity care you have. Quick earlier isn't so one of my favorite organ that they since. On the planet and congratulations we'll ninety. Well thank you think you have an idea more information right now about unity care hurry donate do some than unity chair title lord.