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Sailors give foster youth new home

OCEANSIDE — In their spare time, 50 Navy Sailors helped to give the foster youth of North County the gift of a lifetime: a place to call home during their transition years.As many as 3,000 foster age youth become homeless in San Diego each year. When they reach age 18, they are no longer eligible for placement. However, without a steady home and college prep assistance, many of these youth have no way to support themselves and often turn to the streets.

To address this situation, North County Lifeline is converting its former office on North Indiana Street into LifeSpring House, a home for Transitional Aged Youth (TAY). This home will bridge the gap between when a youngster ages out of the system and when she/he is able to financially support themselves.

In addition to housing, case managers and other Lifeline programs will be onsite to help these youth to gain job training, become employed, learn financial literacy skills and become a self-supporting citizen.

As for the Navy’s help? In just one day they revitalized the front yard, cleared the back yard, created the irrigation and sprinkler system, and painted the main wall, said Volunteer Coordinator Melissa Schlueter.

“Each time I took a moment to talk with the sailors, they asked about the youth that were going to be living in this house. They were very happy they could help,” she said.

Thanks in part to the help from the Navy Sailors, the TAY home is scheduled to open its doors to five youth in January 2013.


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