Mike Faust,  director of the Arizona Department of Child Safety

Mike Faust,  director of the Arizona Department of Child Safety, left, Precious Roman and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Regional Administrator Christopher Patterson.

An estimated 25% of those who leave the foster care system experience homelessness.

To help break that cycle, the city of Glendale recently launched the Foster Youth to Independence Initiative.

The federal-local partnership is aimed at stopping homelessness for those aging out of the foster care system. 

Also known as FYI, the program provides vouchers to help cover rental expenses for program participants.

Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers was joined by members of the city’s Community Services Department, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Regional Administrator Christopher Patterson and others in announcing the launch of the program.

“Partnerships are critically important and the Foster Youth to Independence Initiative shows how multiple agencies, thinking creatively, can tackle major problems,” Weiers said.

“This program not only addresses the issue of homelessness; it gives foster youth a solid foundation on which to build productive and successful lives.”

HUD Regional Administrator Christopher Patterson agreed with they mayor.

“Under Mayor Weiers’ leadership, The future looks bright for former foster youth in the city,” Patterson said.

He said the program has helped 800 young adults across the country.

Precious Roman, 19, was Glendale’s first recipient of an FYI Initiative voucher.

“I went from one friend’s house to another friend’s house after leaving foster care,” Roman said. “It was scary. I just wanted stability, and this program allows me to have a place to call home and feel safe.”

Two dozen other young adults will receive FYI vouchers in Glendale.

For more information, visit dcs.az.gov/housing-voucher-application-request or email  FYITPV@azdcs.gov.