First S.A. Resident Moving into Upbring-sponsored housing this Weekend
San Antonio, Texas – September 24, 2015 – Upbring, the new Lutheran Social Services of the South, is announcing the opening of BeREAL [Ready Educated Accomplished Leaders] San Antonio, a program for young adults aging out of the foster care system in Central Texas. BeREAL empowers young adults to become contributing and self-sufficient members of our communities, ultimately helping to break generational cycles of poverty and abuse. The program anticipates serving between 20-30 young adults through housing support, case management, life skills development and mentoring networks in its first year. The first young adult resident in San Antonio has already been selected for the program and will be moving into Upbring-sponsored housing this weekend.
Download the PDF version of this press release.
Imagine turning 18 and being sent from your home with no family, few resources, and nowhere to turn. That’s exactly the case for more than 1,300 young adults in Texas aging out of the foster care system every year. They often find themselves homeless and lacking the education, job, and life skills required to successfully enter adulthood and embrace careers that best fit their abilities. By providing Supervised Independent Living as they age out of foster care, BeREAL San Antonio will support foster youth working to successfully transition to self-sufficiency and independence. Upbring’s BeREAL program, in coordination with the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), was first established in New Orleans, Louisiana in 2009.
“Our New Orleans BeREAL program has made a tremendous difference for foster youth in need of support and guidance as they transition to adulthood,” said Dr. Kurt Senske, CEO of Upbring. “Transition coaches and mentors have played significant roles in helping foster teens find their paths to hopeful, productive futures. We anticipate BeREAL San Antonio will have the same life-changing effect on these wonderful young people.”
“We are ready for our first BeREAL participants to move into our SIL apartments,” said Sarah Crocker, Transitional Services Program Director for Upbring BeREAL. “Our apartments are centrally located near public transportation, educational institutions, grocery stores, various retail centers, and social services. To further support and encourage our young adults, we are working with several community partners to develop mentoring opportunities. We are going to offer our young adults basic life skills training through workshops on budgeting, healthy eating, and time management. Having a safe and comfortable place to live is vital, and coupled with the right skills, we are doing all we can to position our residents to be successful.”
The BeREAL housing initiative is made possible by donors and supporters. Through a partnership with Post Investment Group, a national multi-family real estate company, Upbring secured discounted apartments for participants in San Antonio.
“This program fills a pressing need in San Antonio,” said Jason Post, President of Post Investment Group. “Participants receive housing and support as they transition to adulthood and the community at large benefits because we are preparing our young adults to become self-sufficient, contributing members of society. I’m thankful to be involved and grateful we have the resources available to contribute.”
To qualify for BeREAL San Antonio, young adults must be between 18 and 21 years of age, have been in foster care on their 18th birthday and be in school, working or a combination of both. Applicants must complete a DFPS application and submit it to their DFPS caseworker. Once approved, DFPS will refer applicants to Upbring where they can apply for BeREAL.
Upbring, the new Lutheran Social Services of the South, is a 134 year-old nonprofit organization with a rich legacy of serving vulnerable people across Texas. Its mission is to break the cycle of child abuse by empowering children, families and communities. Upbring serves more than 30,000 people annually and provides innovative programs and services for children including foster care, adoption, education, residential treatment and community services. For more information, visit Upbring.org.
Jennifer Schattle, Vice President Marketing & Communications, Upbring
(512) 545-3965 | [email protected]