Activists spend 5 nights on streets to raise awareness for plight of homeless youth
SALT LAKE CITY – A young Salt Lake woman and her friend are giving up the comfort of home to spend five days and nights on the streets in order to raise awareness for the plight foster children often face when they turn 18.
Shaylee Hatch, 20, founded the Temporary Home Foundation, and she said when children in foster care turn 18, the foster families no longer get paid to care for them, and the youth can suddenly find themselves on the street.
Hatch said about 65 percent of the youth in foster care become automatically homeless when they turn 18. Hatch said many of these young men and women are often unfairly labeled due to stereotypes.
“One thing I hear constantly is that they have a bad rap for being in foster care, right? So no one can trust them because they are bad kids automatically because they moved from home to home to home,” she said. “It’s not their fault. They have no control over that.”
Hatch’s new organization, The Temporary Home Foundation, aims to help those who are freshly out of foster care—even those who avoid the streets by “couch surfing” or staying with friends. The organization’s goal is to get those they help employed or enrolled in colleges or trade schools. She also said they work to provide them with money management skills and other tools.