Second Sunday is right around the corner on Valentine’s Day weekend, February 13th. It’s the perfect time to celebrate ILYA (Independent Living for Young Adults) at First U! For 17 years, ILYA has assisted young adults as they navigate their new life after foster care. Year-round projects such as New Apartment Kits, Student Care Packages, Graduation Gifts and the Baby Supplies Project help these young people feel cared for and valued.
Another important ILYA program you may not be aware of is the Emergency Loan and Grant Project. This program offers one-time funding to assist with emergency needs such as security or utility deposits, school fees and books. When a need arises, we receive a referral from the State’s Independent Living Coordinators. The ILC’s assist youth with completing a loan application, which is evaluated by three ILYA team members. If approved, funds are paid directly to the creditor. For loans that are to be repaid, youth must sign and commit to a payment agreement. Most loans are typically less than $1,000, but the ILC’s help to determine whether a higher amount is appropriate.
Some recent examples of youth who benefited from the Loan and Grant Program include:
Dynasty was in need of help with a security deposit and was awarded a $865 loan from ILYA. She was able to pay the loan back in full within 2 months.
Sarah needed a car for employment. She used the $1,650 loan from ILYA to purchase a car and paid back the loan over 12 months.
MW needed financial assistance for a security deposit. He was able to secure stable housing thanks to an ILYA loan. He has repaid $100 of his $700 loan so far.
What a difference this project makes in supporting young people as they strive for stability and success in work and school.
On February 13th, we are excited to share video clips of recent interviews between Rev. Larry and some of our youth. You will hear first-hand the challenges these young adults faced and overcame as they aged out of foster care. It’s our hope that after hearing directly from some of the youth, that you will feel more connected to this wonderful social justice program at First U.
Be sure to tune in on February 13 to learn more!