At their best, our homes serve as our sanctuaries. They are the nests we return to for rest and nourishment before we venture out once again to spread our wings and fly. When we can make our home a place of harmony, we can expand not only the lives of all who live there but all we touch. Nurturing individuals by creating a loving home, enables them to make every space they enter a warmer and more loving place for everyone.
ASOH is a portal for our community to connect with youth who have aged-out of the foster care system, offering them love, a home and additional support in finding mentorship, gainful employment, therapy and wellness services, parenting skills, and attaining educational goals. Having the safety and security of the exterior “home” enables the beneficiary to work on creating their internal sense of home and begin pursuing their goals and dreams.
ASOH connects beneficiaries to other NGO’s and government agencies affording opportunities specifically for TAY youth, and additionally ASOH connects beneficiaries to practitioners and services from a vast community of businesses who provide their coveted services for free. For example, virtual therapy with Counseling West, free of charge trauma healing with the Inspired Performance Institute, revered parenting classes on scholarship, free virtual yoga, meditation and cooking classes, and much more. ASOH connects those who want to become mentors to mentor training so that they can support a willing mentee.
Even for the most well versed aged-out foster youth, who know of all the resources available to them like Kenneth, a Policy Manager at the National Foster Youth Institute, who graduated from LMU and is currently applying to law school, didn’t believe ASOH was actually a real agency until the second time he was referred by a peer … he thought it was “too good to be true”. So, when TAY youth like Kenneth actually do experience ASOH and it exceeds their wildest dreams, they are thrilled to embrace the additional services, resource and agencies. ASOH is able to successfully onboard an ASOH beneficiary with an average of three additional services that will empower them to gain agency, attain educational and career goals and improve well-being.
Think of ASOH as virtual community center, linking a diverse group to support one another. We create a personalized “Resource Guide” for each beneficiary with a specific set of referrals based on their goals. The ASOH staff provide guidance and support for onboarding each beneficiary with additional programs/services. We call this the ASOH Resource Network which can be accessed online by anyone, and is updated monthly. Social workers and numerous agencies use the ASOH Resource Network for the youth they serve. Additionally, the general public can use the RN when guiding a former foster youth.
ASOH has been very successful at celebrating the accomplishments of aged-out foster youth and providing a platform for them to share their stories, to be seen, heard and understood. This has attracted community members that were previously unaware of the immense challenges of foster youth who have stepped up to support these inspiring young people in a variety of ways, ensuring that our beneficiaries thrive not just survive.