Carlisle Development Group cuts ribbon on apartment building serving youth aging out of foster care System
Best-selling author and foster parent Vanessa Diffenbaugh speaks at grand opening of Anchorage Apartments in Liberty City.
MIAMI, FL – Life for foster children is often a life of turmoil, sadness and failure. These children have not only lost their parents, but they have no other family to care for them. If they are lucky enough to find a foster home, there’s no guarantee on how long the relationship will last. Sometimes they bounce from home to home, never knowing the feeling of safety and stability most children hardly notice.
When they reach 18-years-old, these young adults no longer qualify for foster care and are often put out on their own, regardless of whether they are ready to take care of themselves. By that time, many have experienced the trauma of abuse, neglect and disrupted family relationships.
To help mitigate the effects of aging out of foster care, Carlisle Development Group has built the Anchorage Apartments, a 22-unit apartment building with nine units devoted to youth aging out of the foster care system. Providing housing opportunities for these young adults is one of the core missions for Carlisle, which has already provided housing opportunities for many teens who have found themselves unadopted, aged out of the system and on their own.
“Life is challenging enough for young adults who come from stable homes, but for youth aging out of foster care, the obstacles to succeeding in life are almost insurmountable,” said Matthew Greer, CEO of Carlisle, the third largest affordable housing developer in the United States. “While the Anchorage Apartments will provide affordable housing, stability and a possible springboard to self-sufficiency for youth aging out of the system, there are still so many others out there who deserve the same opportunity. Carlisle will continue working toward serving that population.”
On Monday, June 3 at 10 a.m., Carlisle will cut the ribbon on the three-story building in Miami’s Liberty City section. Speakers will include Vanessa Diffenbaugh, foster parent and author of the New York Times bestselling novel, “The Language of Flowers,” which focuses on a young woman aging out of the foster care system with a magical talent for flower arrangement. Diffenbaugh is also co-founder of the Camellia Network, a Sacramento, California-based non-profit organization that connects youth aging out of foster care to the critical resources, opportunities and support needed to thrive in adulthood.
The Anchorage features one- and two-bedroom apartments, ranging from 630 to 940 square feet, for working families and individuals making between 50-60 percent of the Area Median Income.
Community amenities include a computer center, gym, library, on-site laundry facility and a community center. Residential amenities include ceiling fans, dishwashers and microwave ovens, as well as green features, such as water conserving plumbing fixtures, Energy Star rated appliances and low emission paints, adhesives and carpets.
“Annually, more than 30,000 youth age out of the foster care system and face uncertain futures as young adults,” said Diffenbaugh. “More than 50 percent will end up homeless, incarcerated, uneducated and unemployed. Within four years 60 percent will have children and those children are twice as likely to wind up in foster care themselves, continuing the cycle. This is an issue that is only going to worsen unless it is addressed by responsible corporate citizens like those at Carlisle Development Group, as well as all of those who support the Camellia Network.”