State Increases Efforts To Fight Youth Homelessness
Ohio's top law enforcement officer says he will use his "bully pulpit" and offer competitive grants to help young adults who age out of foster care. Attorney General Mike DeWine wants more court advocacy, temporary housing, and treatment for post traumatic stress disorder for 18 to 24 year-olds who spent much of their childhood in foster care. "At some point you've got to say enough is enough." Says DeWine So, the A-G's office says it will use 825-thousand dollars from the state's Victim Assitance fund to boost such services. The head of Buckeye Ranch, Nick Rees, welcomes any available new funds. Buckeye Ranch gives temporary care to teens who have been abused, neglected, or have a diagnosable mental illness. It has 250 locations across Ohio, a daily average of 16-hundred teens and an annual operating budget of $39,000,000. Rees says Buckeye Ranch has taken incremental budget cuts every year for the past ten years. This year donors have asked Rees to cut his budget by 5 percent.
"So I think were headed toward the perfect train wreck, more children who need help and no money to fund it." Says Rees.
Rees says most of the teens who leave Buckeye Ranch lead successful adult lives. But, one in four homeless adults is a former foster child.