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Bridging the Gap

Mile High United Way's Bridging the Gap program provides supportive services to youth age 18 through 24 as they transition out of the child welfare system.

As young people transition out of the foster care system, the majority are unprepared for adult life.

They don't have the support system of a family or social network. As a result, they are more likely to face crime, violence, and poverty – putting them at increased risk for becoming part of Denver's homeless population.

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 We're Helping

Bridging the Gap works individually with each person by providing trauma-informed coaching. Our coaches help youth find and maintain stable housing, pursue employment, access education, learn about financial health, and set wellness goals.

Mile High United Way Independent Living Coaches are paired with the youth providing them with support, advice, and the tools they need to set and achieve their goals around housing, workforce development, education, and more.

View the Program Infographic

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.

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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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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