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.
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.
of foster youth will graduate high school on-time in Colorado.1
At age 24, only half are employed.2
have been homeless for at least one night since leaving foster care.2
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)
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.
126 Participants Access Safe and Stable Housing
Moving into safe, stable housing is the first step toward success.
114 are Engaged in Coaching
Independent Living Coaches surround youth with encouragement and support while helping them access resources.
88 Employed for One Month or Longer
We help youth find jobs and keep them so they have sustainable futures.
23 Enrolled in Educational Programs
We encourage participants toward higher education or vocational programs.
82% of Participants Feel More prepared for Living Independently
We want youth finishing the program to feel ready to succeed in adult life.
Youth are provided with a 36-month Family Unification Program (FUP) housing voucher to start their adult lives in a safe place.
Through career weeks, mock interviews, job internships and more, participants are given the tools to try to find and keep a job.
Coaches help youth discover all the options available, and prepare them for success as they pursue their goals.
Through classes and coaching, we work with youth to establish healthy financial practices that will lead them on a path to sustainability.
Youth leaving foster care may have mental health or developmental needs that coaches address by helping youth find supportive community resources.
Coaches help youth set goals and access skill-building opportunities, reviving a sense of hope for the future that many had cast aside.
“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.’”Read More
"When my family could not be there for me... Bridging the Gap staff walked alongside me"Read More
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.Give Now