Wheat Ridge Ministries recently selected BeREAL [Ready Educated Accomplished Leaders] Austin, a Supervised Independent Living program of Lutheran Social Services of the South, to receive a $35,000 grant to “assist inspired leaders who are serving others and sharing health and hope around the world.” Wheat Ridge’s GrantsPlus Program supports new and innovative health and human care programs led by congregations and nonprofit organizations affiliated with the Lutheran community. Grants range from $5,000 to $50,000 over two to three years.
Imagine turning 18 and being ejected from your home with no family, few resources and nowhere to turn. That’s exactly the case for 1,328 young adults in Texas aging out of foster care every year. They often find themselves homeless and lacking the education, job and life skills required to embrace careers and adulthood to the best of their abilities. BeREAL Austin helps foster youth successfully transition to self-sufficiency and independence by providing Supervised Independent Living as they age out of care. LSS’ BeREAL program, in coordination with the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), was first established in New Orleans, Louisiana in 2009.
Wheat Ridge’s grant will help subsidize housing costs for foster youth, along with providing direct assistance for food, clothing, transportation and furniture and household supplies. In addition, life skills development, case management and mentoring are important components of BeREAL Austin and require ongoing financial support.
“Study after study shows that teens aging out of the foster care system are among the most at-risk adults in our society,” said Sarah Crocker, Transitional Services Program Director of BeREAL Austin.
“We are so grateful for the Grantsplus Grant and support of Wheat Ridge Ministries to carry out BeREAL’s mission.”
Wheat Ridge Ministries is a nonprofit organization that helps health and human care initiatives get off the ground by providing the initial funding and support they need to thrive. Wheat Ridge has a special interest in nurturing new health and human care ministries developed by local congregations and new faith-based organizations and initiatives.