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HUD Regional Administrator David Tille recently met with local Portland officials to discuss a new initiative targeting housing assistance to young adults who have aged out of the foster care system and are in extreme risk experiencing homelessness. The HUD program will offer housing vouchers to local housing authorities to prevent homelessness among young adults under the age of 25 who have recently left the foster care system with no place to go.
The new Foster Youth of Independence Initiative (FYI) focuses on preventing or ending homelessness among these young adults providing a stable life though a stable home. Mr. Tille said "No young person who grows up in foster care should experience homelessness once they set out on their own." This program is "an important new tool for the prevention of youth homelessness" said Mark Adelson, Executive Director of the Portland Housing Authority. "Preventing young people from falling into homelessness with a home and support services is a far more effective approach than trying to help them after the fact." He also thanked Senator Susan Collins for her continued support for affordable housing and her efforts in regard to homeless youth.
Participating public housing authorities must administer an HCV program, enter into a partnership agreement with a Public Child Welfare Agency (PCWA), accept young adults referred by their partnering PCWA, and determine that the referred people are eligible for HCV assistance. The Portland Housing Authority will be working with the Preble Street Teen Center and DHHS (Department of Health and Human Services) to implement the program in the local area.
More information on the program's implementation will be announced at a later date.