For more than 25 years, You Gotta Believe (YGB) has connected the most vulnerable kids in the foster care system to the permanent loving families they need and deserve.
The unwavering commitment of our supporters allowed us to navigate the myriad challenges of 2020 and maintain focus on our mission. More than 400,000 children and youth are currently living in our nation’s foster care system, through no fault of their own. Each year, about 20,000 young people will age out without a family, nearly half of whom will experience homelessness. They will also be more likely to experience unemployment, unplanned pregnancy, legal system involvement, substance abuse, and lack of basic health care services. Only a small percentage will have a college degree by the age of 26; most are unlikely to have a high school diploma nor earn enough to support themselves. These staggering outcomes do not reflect the true potential of our youth.
The pandemic only exacerbates these gaps in access to success, safety, and well-being.
YGB saw a stark difference in how the COVID-19 pandemic affected those we serve. Youth who were already connected to permanent families had a place to go, emotional support, guidance to safely negotiate the pandemic, and a network to turn to in the midst of the economic crisis. In short, they had families!
For those still waiting for permanent families, the struggle was—and continues to be— difficult. Those in college were forced to leave their dorms (because of COVID-19) and faced homelessness because they had nowhere to go. Others lost their jobs and could not pay bills. Many battled depression, anxiety, and isolation.
YGB remains laser-focused on creating permanent families for youth and supporting them with the resources and services they need to thrive. Thanks to you— your support, and your belief in family—we will continue to connect and support families, no matter what the future brings. We are deeply grateful to have you as partners in this critical work.
Join us as a possible parent, a young person seeking family, or as a believer that it’s never too late for family!
You can do it!