Paducah — Sunrise Children’s Services has announced the Nov. 17 launch of a new independent living program initiative that will bring business, church, and state resources together to combat the “aging out” crisis. The program, VentureON, connects young people aging out of foster care with resources that can help them find housing, jobs and an education to build their own future.
“We’re more than excited to be able to bring together community resources and combat this crisis,” said Sunrise President Dale Suttles. “In 2013 alone, more than 23,000 young people aged out of foster care, simply because they were too old to remain. This is not new because of the 402,000 children in foster care; more than 19,000 had case goals of emancipation, or aging out after leaving foster care without a permanent family. For the first time, we are giving these young people a full continuum of options to be successful in every aspect of their life.”
The program begins by identifying deficits in basic life skills and then making a plan to address those deficits and aligning the young person with a Christian mentor that “does life” with them. As they move into the program, the young adult will be paired in an apprentice role with one of our many corporate partners. If additional training and education is desired or required, we will work with educational partners to secure the appropriate education. All of this while clients continue receiving counseling and life skills training while living in their own apartment.
Mentors who apply to the program will be screened and matched by Sunrise Independent Living staff then receive training and support as they work one-on-one with the young adult, professional team, and community partners.
“Working on this program has been a labor of love and one that everyone is very excited about,” said Sunrise Vice President Kenny Williams whose team will oversee the program. “We have seen the life changes that a mentor can make and at Sunrise, we are committed to changing the path of life for these young people who want something more for themselves and their future. VentureON is a pioneering program designed to work with young people ensuring their successful transition to becoming a contributing adult in our society under the watchful care and support of an organization that has been providing hope and care since June 1869. This program is the result of an innovative private child care organization vision combining their expertise with business, church and government support. It is a forward thinking and vibrant continuum of care for kids who cannot safely return home and be successful.”
The program will be officially launched in Paducah, Kentucky on Nov. 17 at Sunrise’s offices located at 3565 Lone Oak Road, Paducah, KY 42003.
Mentor applications will soon be available online and at the program for community members who want to make a difference in the life of a young person. Sunrise is seeking individuals, groups, and churches to become mentors, hire one of our young adults, provide furnishings for apartments, and financially give to help a young person become successful.
For more information on the VentureON Program visit sunrise.org.