The Division of Child Protection & Permanency (DCP&P), formerly known as DYFS, removed Charlie and his sister from their biological mother when Charlie was just two years old. For the next twelve years, Charlie remained in the foster care system. Finally, at the age of fourteen, he ran away and ran the streets until he got into some serious trouble and spent four years in prison. When I first met Charlie, he had violated his parole and was eligible for home monitoring instead of jail time but there was one huge problem. Charlie was homeless, he had no permanent address and had been couch surfing and sleeping at times under the gazebo in the park. When approached by my son who asked if Charlie could stay with us, I said yes, and little did I know then that those three months of home monitoring would turn into six years in which Charlie lived with us and became part of our family. Fifteen years later and Charlie is still my son, and I am still his Momma. He is my inspiration for this organization.
It is our mission to empower marginalized youth with the tools and support necessary for their successful transition into independent living.
Charlie’s Home YTP (Youth Transition Program) is an e-learning program featuring a series of mini-courses geared towards supporting marginalized youth in their transition out of institutionalized settings and into independent living. The courses feature topics that all youth should incorporate as tools when getting ready to leave home, such as cooking, budgeting, and healthy relationships. Additionally, there are specialized courses that may be even more useful, such as resiliency, navigating social services, and coolness under pressure. This program is free of charge, for agencies, nonprofits, and other programs for youth to have a means of support from our staff gives them a way to connect to form their own community as well. We hope that with these tools and ongoing support, marginalized youth will be more likely to succeed at independent living and less likely to end up as a “homeless statistic”.
Our vision is to promote a self-healing community where homelessness is eradicated one youth at a time by supplying marginalized youth with the tools of preparation, education, and social support for a successful transition into independent living.