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PCHA – Ready for Life Partnership Provides Hope to Homeless Youth Aged Out of Foster Care

On any given day Kathy Mize-Plummer and her staff work to find shelter for homeless youth who have aged out of the foster care system.  They encourage them to go to school, help them enroll in job training, and help them get jobs.  Counseling is often needed due to childhood trauma.

“Youth that have “aged out” of foster care have many obstacles and struggles, and it is our goal with the help of community partners to remove barriers and provide support, encouragement and resources to assist them in self-sufficiency” said Kathy Mize-Plummer.  Kathy is the CEO of Ready for Life, Inc. (RFL), a non-profit organization that serves youth that have “aged out” of the foster care system on their 18th birthday, most of the time with little if any support system or knowing that they have what they need to be successful on their own.

Through a partnership between Pinellas County, the Pinellas County Housing Authority and Ready for Life, Inc., a home for formerly homeless young men who grew up in the foster care system and are now on their own, officially opened on June 23, 2016.

“We are extremely excited about the opportunity to positively impact the lives of these young men, allowing them to focus on their future, knowing that they have a safe place to lay their head at night” said Debbie Johnson, Executive Director of the Pinellas County Housing Authority.  “We sincerely appreciate the partnership that we have with Pinellas County’s Community Development department.  It is because of that partnership that we were able to make this home available to these young people through Ready for Life.  We hope to be able to provide more housing opportunities like this in the future” Johnson said.

More housing is needed for youth who have aged out.  “Ready for Life would love to be able to provide a safe, stable and affordable housing for our young women and also for our single Mom’s, as we have now done for the young men.  We value this partnership tremendously and look forward to great things ahead”, Mize-Plummer said.

Ready for Life, Inc. (RFL): For more information please visit RFL’s website at www.readyforlifepinellas.org