Here For Our Youth.
Each year, more than 300 of San Diego’s foster children “age out” of the foster care system. They enter this system alone; removed from their home due to physical and emotional abuse, neglect or abandonment. It is common to hear that a child has moved 15 times to different foster homes, not to mention new schools and new surroundings. The transition into adulthood is even more difficult. They are expected to become independent, self-sufficient and contributing members of society with little or no support from others. They are among the highest at risk to end up homeless, unemployed or in prison.
Behind these startling statistics are stories of youth who faced the challenges and triumphed; and the people, places and programs who offer support to help them meet their potential. South Bay Community Services (SBCS) provides a transitional housing as well as comprehensive programs to assist hundreds of current and former foster youth every year.
Abraham, 20, entered foster care at four years of age and spent the next 14 years moving from foster home to foster home. Abraham transitioned out of foster care, graduated high school and attended California State University San Marcos. Without guidance or support, the first semester was difficult and lonely. He was soon dismissed.
“I was not fully prepared,” said Abraham. “I started weighing my options. I found SBCS and Trolley Trestle, their transitional housing.” Abraham found a welcoming community that provides a safe and stable setting where he gains skills to increase his own resiliency. “If it weren’t for SBCS, I’d probably be out on the street. It's like having a big family.” Abraham is now enrolled at Southwestern College and is determined to complete his studies, return to San Marcos, earn a degree in engineering and then join the Navy to serve our country.
The impact of organizations such as SBCS is evident in each accomplishment. Youth like Abraham are no longer alone. Statistics aren’t a given. We have the power to change them – together.
For more information, please call (619) 420-3620 or visit www.SouthBayCommunityServices.org.