Earlier this month, Upbring BeREAL Austin celebrated the two-year anniversary of when our first resident moved in.
In the last two years, we have served 40 young adults and their children by providing stable housing, case management, life skills development and a support network, helping guide them on their path to successful adulthood.
For our residents, growing up in foster care and aging out of the system without much more than the clothes on their back wasn’t easy. Most of our residents come to us after living in shelters, on the street, or in their cars.
While in the program, all of our residents have a safe place to call home and the opportunity to work and/or go to school, save money, and prepare for life on their own.
We have seen firsthand that, given the right resources and opportunities, our residents thrive. With the support of the BeREAL program, they are able to achieve their goals and reach their full potential.
In their own words, some of our residents share how BeREAL has given them renewed hope:
“Growing up in foster care without family, I had to learn how to be a fighter. I spent most of my life trying to survive, especially once I turned 18 and had nowhere to turn. I was living on the street, not knowing where my next meal would come from. It was exhausting and I was ready to give up and take my own life. BeREAL saved me. Now I have a place to live, a great job, I go to school and have people in my life that care about me. I never knew life could be so good.”
– Ben, 21 years old
“BeREAL made me think that it wasn’t too late to turn things around, and I have. In the last two years, I’ve saved enough money to buy a car and get my own place. I’m taking classes at ACC, and I know that I will be successful and not another statistic of a kid that ages out of foster care.”
– Caleb, 21 years old
“Without BeREAL, I would be working three jobs to make ends meet. I wouldn’t be able to go to school or think about my future. I would be worried about paying the rent and putting food on the table for me and my daughter.”
– Rachel, 20 years old
“I lived in the BeREAL program for almost two years. That is the longest I ever lived anywhere in my life. I was in dozens of foster and group homes, and went to so many schools that I lost count. No matter what, BeREAL was always there for me and never gave up on me. Even if I messed up, they didn’t toss me aside like everybody else. Now I know what it’s like to have a family.”
– Jordan, 21 years old
We are proud of the young adults we have served the last couple years. They inspire us to continue working hard so we can serve more young people aging out of care who deserve the chance to reach their potential and live long, happy and fulfilled lives.
Upbring is forever grateful to everyone who has contributed to the BeREAL program. We could not do this important work without your generosity and support.
*Names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.