What We Do
Founded in 1998, First Place for Youth was the first organization in Northern California to provide affordable housing and supportive services to former foster youth, and today is considered a national model for providing permanent housing for high risk youth. The agency works to ensure that all foster youth throughout the state of California have the opportunity to experience a safe, supported transition from foster care. Through a housing program, an employment and academic enrichment program, counseling, youth community center, collaboration with other community agencies, and community education, First Place helps youth to gain the skills they need to live independently and succeed on their own.
The agency serves California youth ages 16 to 24 who are preparing to age out of foster care or who have recently aged out of care. Once discharged from care, there are limited public or community-based services available for these young adults. Instead of receiving support and guidance during this critical transition, former foster youth are without housing, a source of income, adult encouragement, or community support. Without the critical resources First Place provides, youth are significantly more likely to experience homelessness, poverty, low educational achievement and poor health than other youth their age.
The agency’s innovative programs proactively challenge the dismal trends among former foster youth by building self-esteem and self-reliance, and forging the skills needed to meet employment goals, maintain healthy relationships, foster effective communication and develop a sense of community. Youth work on their education and employment goals, healthy relationships, effective communication and community building. Collectively, the programs provide: