A Sense of Home in its simplest terms is — the village that it takes to raise a child — finally showing up for aged-out foster youth.
ASOH is a community based solution, coordinating compassionate volunteers to utilize donated furniture to make an aged-out foster youth’s first permanent living space feel like HOME. Having never felt like they belonged in a home, their new inspired space is an opportunity for the youth to finally belong in the world and a foundation from which they can build a healthy new beginning. This remarkably simple concept, being implemented and lead by former foster youth staff (and recipients of the program) is profoundly impactful for a multitude of principles.
A growing body of research believes that Maslow got it wrong. “The need to connect socially with others is as basic as our need for food, water and shelter” UCLA professor of neurobiology Matthew Lieberman. “None of Maslow’s needs can be met without social connection.Humans are social animals for good reason. Without collaboration, there is no survival. “ Pamela Rutledge, Ph.D., M.B.A.
When the ASOH team and community come together to create a physical home that is the embodiment of the dreams and unique personality of an aged out youth recipient , A Sense of Home offers the youth — the courage to dream and confidence to manifest those dreams, to transform the experience of scarcity to abundance and develop a sense of personal agency and self-sufficiency. When the youth pays it forward participating in another youth’s home creation they have the opportunity to impart their talents, skills and generosity — amidst a powerful team building experience. As they continue to pay it forward they become a part of and valued by the community and hence, can gain from the opportunities afforded by community.
Eliminating the financial impossibility of furnishing one’s home —and creating an uncluttered, organized, and serene home environment has been proven to significantly improve the productivity of an employee and student, and increase crucial cognitive skills necessary for success in the 21st Century: Critical and Creative Thinking, Collaboration, Communication, Decision-Making and Judgment. Science has proven that the state of one’s “home” affects one’s physical health, cognitive development, social/emotional well-being and how an individual views themselves and their place in the world. By creating a physical home that embodies the aspirations of each youth enables the youth to aspire to far greater heights and inspires the youth to reimagine all that they can achieve and become the best version of their self.
Success begets more success. The more success the youth witness in their peers who lead the organization creating sustainable change, the more the youth strive and grow. The more the youth witness their peers thriving the more likely they will become responsible for their own choices and shift the story they have been told about themselves to becoming architects of their own destiny.
At A Sense of Home we aspire to:
- Eradicate a layer of poverty from which former foster youth can most likely never climb out of.
- Provide a foundation from which former foster youth can thrive.
- Inspire former foster youth to be as successful as their new environment and become the best versions of themselves.
- Through the ASOH process, connect former foster youth with a community of care so that they can gain social capital, better employment, opportunities and mentors.
- Provide a therapeutic experience for former foster youth as well as volunteers.
- Through the process, connect former foster youth with a network of peers to establish a support network.
- By employing former foster youth, empower them to become leaders, agents of change and role models for their peers, while also illuminating the consciousness of the boarder population to the talents and leadership of “aged-out” youth.
- Empower former foster youth to own their story and their voice and offer a platform to share their hopes & dreams.
- Remove labels, open up dialogue, understanding and solutions.
- Provide an example of how to be the change we seek
- Serve as a beacon of hope and a shining example of what true grassroots community building can be.
- Contribute to the youth achieving all levels of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.