Young Adults from Foster Care
Navigating the COVID-19 Pandemic
COVID-19 has greatly impacted us all. It has brought emotional devastation, financial hardship, and relational isolation that will have lasting effects on our entire society. Our THRIVE young adults are unfortunately no exception. Firstly, like so many, most of them have lost their jobs which have caused immediate financial hardship. Secondly, their schooling has all been moved to online and they have nowhere to study. On top of that, we have two women who were both first-generation college students who were supposed to graduate this semester, and now graduation too has been canceled. Thirdly, like the rest of our community, they are in isolation, which is not healthy for many of them who struggle with depression and anxiety.
With that being said, we created a Community Center for our young adults to come during the day. This space was set up for them to do their online classes, connect, and stay safe. Of course, each participant was separated into several rooms that are sectioned off per apartment / household, the desks were 6 feet apart, and we thoroughly cleaned every two hours. We also provided snacks, coffee, and even workout classes to release energy and anxiety. Our Case Managers were in the Community Center available for emotional support as well as helping the young adults make a plan: plan out a daily schedule to maintain structure and consistency, plan a budget, plan how to stay connected to loved ones, plan how to practice self-care, plan how to stay motivated and focused, and much more.
We created “survival kits” filled with board games, puzzles, coloring books, and snacks to help during this time of “sheltering-in-place”. On top of this, we created emergency food kits for every young adult with two weeks of food in case it comes to that. And currently, our on-site mentors deliver daily meals, treats, and encouraging notes to stay connected with our young adults.
Over the past few weeks, things have changed. We no longer offer the Community Center for our young adults to come to but we continue to offer intentional care and space.
During this time, the most important message we can send our young adults is that they are not alone and you help us to do that. We are committed to loving, supporting, and providing for their emotional and physical needs. Thank you for your support us as we continue to care for them. We could not do this without you.
Learn more about the THRIVE Program at www.ocunited.org/thrive