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Bridging the Gap

Mile High United Way's Bridging the Gap program supports young adults (ages 18-24) who have aged out of the child welfare system.

Our Bridging the Gap program provides young adults with wraparound services to increase personal, economic, and financial independence.

Independent Living Coaches work with program participants to provide critical housing resources with a 36-month Family Unification Program housing voucher and trauma-informed coaching. Coaches also help youth pursue employment, access education, learn about financial health, and set wellness goals.

When participants have stable housing in place, youth can focus on other goals like furthering their education and building a strong support system for themselves and their children.

Learn more about our participants and how the program has transformed their lives in our 2020-2021 Impact Report.

Read Impact Report

Bridging the Gap Impact

Play the video to see the impact Mile High United Way's Bridging the Gap has had in the lives of participants.

From Lost to Found: Finding My Voice After Leaving the Child Welfare System

With the support of our Bridging the Gap program, Gloria has gone on to become an advocate for other youth existing the child welfare system.

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Bridging the Gap Youth Graduate Career Development Training

In October 2019, Mile High United Way’s Bridging the Gap program hosted professional development events for young people exiting the child welfare system.

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Antoinette

"Even if it seems like it's hard," says Antoinette, "don't give up."

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Gloria

“I will do my best for [my kids] to see me do it, so that they can actually say, ‘Mommy did it; I can do it too.’”

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Torica

She Believed She Could, So She Did.

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Rahmet

"When my family could not be there for me... Bridging the Gap staff walked alongside me"

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Tai

"The moment I walked into Mile High United Way, everything began to change."

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The Hard Truth

23%

of foster youth will graduate high school on-time in Colorado.1

50%

At age 24, only half are employed.2

1/3

have been homeless for at least one night since leaving foster care.2

25%

have run into trouble with the law within two years of leaving foster care.2

1. Colorado Department of Education, 2017

2. Midwest Evaluation of the Adult Functioning of Former Foster Youth: Outcomes at Age 26 (Courtney et al. 2011)

How the Program Works

Stable Housing

Youth are provided with a 36-month Family Unification Program (FUP) housing voucher to start their adult lives in a safe place.

Workforce Development

Through career weeks, mock interviews, job internships and more, participants are given the tools to try to find and keep a job.

Post-Secondary Education

Coaches help youth discover all the options available, and prepare them for success as they pursue their goals.

Financial Stability

Through classes and coaching, we work with youth to establish healthy financial practices that will lead them on a path to sustainability.

Wellness

Youth leaving foster care may have mental health or developmental needs that coaches address by helping youth find supportive community resources.

Community Connections

Coaches help youth set goals and access skill-building opportunities, reviving a sense of hope for the future that many had cast aside.

Our Impact

Support Bridging the Gap

When you support Mile High United Way's Bridging the Gap program, you are giving a young person who aged out of the child welfare system the chance to become an independent and self-sufficient adult.

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