Message from the Executive Director

Executive Summary

Pathways To Your Future strongly believe that All emancipated foster and homeless transition aged youth have the ability and the opportunity to become self-sufficient and make a successful transition to independent adulthood.

For more than twenty years Pathways To Your Future (PTYF) has been on the frontline providing comprehensive health, education, and human supportive services to Los Angeles County foster and homeless youth. Moreover, the founders of PTYF have been providing significant service and unwavering leadership which over the years have built an organized network of men and women strategically designed to foster unity, solidarity and economic empowerment toward the reduction and elimination of gang killings/violence fueled by alcohol, tobacco & other drug abuse which insured that this population and age group would have a better quality of life beyond the violence risks of failure and hopelessness.

To date, more than 5,225 Los Angeles County youths of diverse ethnicity, culture, and gender have benefitted from PTYF and Frontline Soldiers efforts to provide win-win programs and services which make the difference between a young life shackled by a legacy of crime, drugs and homelessness to one that propel them into educational success, reputable career engagements, and a crime free future.

The case for statewide expansion is clear. Currently, there are over 513,000 foster children living in the United States, with the lion’s share (80,000) residing in California. In fact, California has almost as many youth in care as New York, Florida, and Texas combined. Of these youth, approximately 5,000 aged out each year and for them, the outlook is grim. Studies show that:

  • Nearly two-thirds of transitioning aged youth (TAY) in California face imminent homelessness;
  • Forty-six percent of California’s TAY drop out of high school, as compared to 30 percent of non-foster youth;
  • Fifty-one percent of former TAY youth will be unemployed upon emancipation; and
  • By age 17, TAY women are twice as likely to become pregnant as their peers.

The case for countywide expansion is clear. For at least the last five years, PTYF, other youth service providers, and advocates throughout the Los Angeles County have been speaking out about the crisis among our county’s youth; yet, paradoxically, older youth and young adults remain among the county’s most under-served populations. Recent private and government initiatives in Los Angeles draw attention to the plight of at-risk older youth who face multiple barriers to becoming self-sufficient and productive adults. Perhaps the overriding reason that policy makers and government officials are paying attention to what some refer to as an “epidemic” of homelessness among Los Angeles’ youth is the recognition of the enormous economic burden it places on our society.

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