Inspired by someone who once said, “I have faith that God can work miracles even with my few loaves and just a couple of fish,” the founders of Paso del Norte Community Foundation’s Loaves and Fishes Fund seek to be like the young lad who simply gave the Lord what he had—small though it seemed to be—and let God do with what He will.
Created with the seemingly overwhelming goal of addressing the root causes of homelessness and poverty, the Loaves and Fishes Fund focuses on efforts to provide support and resources to vulnerable populations.
Young adults aging out of foster care are especially at risk to homeless and poverty. A 2020 study using data from the National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD) combined with the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis Reporting System (NFCARS), analyzed the risk and protective factors contributing to homelessness among a nationwide sample of foster youth at age 21, 29% of whom had experienced homelessness. The study’s findings indicate that the strongest protective factors against homelessness were having a connection to an adult and remaining in foster care until age 21.
The MacGuire Center, a project of the Lee and Beulah Moor Children’s Home, focuses on youth who are aging out of the foster care system, and provides a guiding hand after foster care. Through a competitive process, young adults apply and are selected to participate in the program. They are offered adulting classes and life skills training in areas of budgeting and financial management, mentoring and volunteering opportunities, career and employment casework services, cooking and nutrition classes and assistance in obtaining driver’s license and other helpful certifications. They are also provided a safe space to network and socialize with other former foster youth and are provided access to computer and internet to support their college studies.
Loaves and Fishes is grateful for the opportunity to support these young adults through programs at the MacGuire Center. Participants will receive monthly financial support for basic needs as weekly as access to tools for self-sufficiency. A mentorship program is also in development.
“Kids in foster care turn 18 and are on their own, but if you think about all the support parents provide college-aged students, you can see that these young adults still need guidance to successfully navigate school, work, and living independently. We are thrilled that the MacGuire Center has the structure in place for this population and it’s our honor to help fund their needs.”
If you would like to support the mission of Loaves and Fishes and this new and meaningful partnership with the MacGuire Center of the Lee and Beulah Moor Children’s Home, please click here to make a financial contribution. If you are interested in becoming more involved and becoming a mentor to these young adults, please contact Mica Short at firstname.lastname@example.org.