October 26, 2010
Beginning November 1, the Pinellas County Housing Authority (PCHA) will be implementing their new Section 8 Voucher preference for Youth Aging Out of Foster Care in Pinellas County. This preference will provide housing for those youth that are aging out of foster care as long as they are also eligible for PCHA’s Section 8 Voucher program.
According to the National Center for Housing and Child Welfare, youth aging out of the foster care system need safe, stable and affordable housing. There is no single funding stream for youth housing therefore, it is important to tap into a variety of funding streams to meet the housing needs of young people. Housing Authorities are an invaluable collaboration to provide housing and housing resources for those exiting foster care.
Last month, the PCHA Board of Commissioners approved the Youth Aging Out of Foster Care preference at their board meeting. PCHA will assist youth, ages 18 – 24 who are referred by Eckerd Community Alternatives (ECA) through their contractor, Camelot Community Care, Inc. ECA is the Lead Agency for child welfare in Pinellas County and has developed an integrated and collaborative system of care that assures the safety, well-being, and permanency of children, while also strengthening families through front-end prevention programs and aftercare supports.
Participating youth will also be eligible to enroll in PCHA’s new Family Self-Sufficiency program, an outstanding program for moving Voucher participants to economic self-sufficiency. PCHA’s Executive Director Debbie Johnson says, “This is a wonderful opportunity for our agency to continue to work toward our mission of providing housing for people in need. We are very excited about this new collaboration and to be providing housing assistance to these youth.”
For more information about PCHA’s Youth Aging Out of Foster Care Section 8 preference, please call 727-443-7684, ext 3124.
About Pinellas County Housing Authority (PCHA):
Formed in 1965 and governed by a five member Board of Commissioners appointed by the Governor of the State of Florida, the Pinellas County Housing Authority (PCHA) provides housing and rental assistance to a total of more than 4,500 families in Pinellas County. The authority is proud to be rated by HUD as a “High Performing” agency. More information about the authority’s programs and services can be found at www.pinellashousing.com.
About Eckerd Community Alternatives (ECA):
A Collaborative System of Community-Based Care and is the Lead Agency for child welfare in Pasco and Pinellas counties. Governed by a Community-Based Services Board, Eckerd Community Alternatives has developed an integrated and collaborative system of care that assures the safety, well-being, and permanency of children, while also strengthening families through front-end prevention programs and aftercare supports. Working together with a collaborative network of strategic partners, child advocates and other community resources, Eckerd Community Alternatives is committed to improving the quality of services for children and families in Pinellas and Pasco counties. For more information about ECA, please visit their website at www.eckerd.org