After years of research, in 2020 The Junior League of Columbus’ our new Signature Project, Bridging the G.A.P. (Guide. Advocate. Provide.). The project supports youth aging out of the foster care system.
When kids in foster care turn 18, they are no longer part of the foster care system, and many find themselves living alone, without the support, resources, and guidance of a stable family or other caring adults in their lives. Each year in Ohio alone, close to 1,000 youth transition out of the foster care system. The Junior League of Columbus is working diligently to find ways to guide, advocate, and provide for our local youth in need.
Project Guide is still in the beginning stages but will aim to empower foster youth through the development of positive personal relationships and life skills. During the 2020-2021 league year, JLC will work to build out this project.
Project Advocate is in the development process and will introduce new training opportunities and legislative advocacy.
In 2020, through Project Provide, The Junior League of Columbus has provided 105 youth with household necessities to start their new life in their very own studio apartment. We partnered with local organizations, including Star House, on the Carol Stewart Village project. This $4.5 million project converted two former motels into 105 studio apartments with a campus-like setting. The complex will primarily support youth ages 18-24 who are homeless or have aged out of the foster care system.
Each unit has a bathroom, kitchenette, and at least one dedicated parking space. The campus will be designed to create a sense of community with front porches, indoor and outdoor community spaces, a community garden, and a different theme in each building.