Compared to other youth in our communities, youth aging out of foster care are more likely to be incarcerated, unemployed and unskilled. Many drop out of high school and are much more vulnerable to continued victimization and homelessness.
The Louisville Metro Department of Community Services is working to address these challenges with a program called Project L.I.F.E. (Learning Independence and Fostering Empowerment) that provides a skills-building environment to teach, encourage and equip these youth to reach their full human potential.
In partnership with the state Department for Community Based Services and Lexington Community Action Council, through a federally funded Chafee grant, Project L.I.F.E. serves 60 kids across Kentucky, including 25 in Louisville. Youth are provided a housing voucher, along with support and services to remove barriers so they can better focus on education, employment and income management goals.
For more information about Project L.I.F.E., contact Anna Wallace, Program Manager with Community Services at 574-6674.
Project L.I.F.E. Success Story
Tre’Qwan understood that his past did not have to dictate his future. In April 2015, Tre’Qwan was accepted into the Project L.I.F.E., which helps young adults become self-sufficient. Tre’Qwan immediately focused on setting goals of obtaining employment, attending college, and saving money.
Tre’Qwan’s motivation and determination helped him to balance full-time employment while attending college. In May 2015, he was hired as a full-time employee with the Swift Company. Shortly after, he enrolled at Jefferson Community & Technical College to begin in fall 2015. As Tre’Qwan completed goals through the Project L.I.F.E. he received incentive money. Tre’Qwan used his budgeting skills learned from Project L.I.F.E. and was able to save money to get his car repaired.
Currently, Tre’Qwan is still with his employer and living on his own without any supportive services. His successful completion of Project L.I.F.E. and the life skills he has acquired have influenced his future goals to enlist in the military to explore the world.