For 7 years, the Sheehan Adopt-A-Family project (www.safproject.org) has been the largest non-corporate adopter of families through the Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) 35-year-old Adopt-a-Family program (). This year, I decided it was time to expand from not just adopting families, but adopting a group home.
After identifying a connection between homelessness and aging out of the foster care system, I decided to reach out to 100-year-old Jewish group home Vista Del Mar about my vision of building a computer lab for its youth residents to teach practical life skills so that they can find success on their own after they leave the foster care system.
I read a statistic recently from US News that homelessness in Los Angeles amongst 18-24 year olds increased 64% in 2016. This made me think about the foster care system and what happens to these kids when they age out. After all these years of supporting homeless families and getting to know their true needs, I’ve come to learn that giving material items is only a temporary fix. There is a lot of truth to the ancient proverb ‘give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. My goal is to intervene before these kids exit the foster care system in order to break this vicious cycle.
When I reached out to Vista Del Mar back in November 2017, I found out they only had 1 working computer for its 46 residents and no wi-fi. Since then SAF Project has fundraised nearly 35 used computers, desks, chairs and an Apple TV for the lab. We are now in need of financial donations to network the computers and implement computer skills training and mentoring courses. Specifically SAF project is seeking financial contributions to:
- pay for a trained computer expert to lead the courses
- purchase software and pay for computer networking
- to expand the program to all 46 youth in residence (at our current fundraising level we only have enough resources to support 10 residents)
These children are some of the most vulnerable children in our society. This computer lab and the skills they learn could be the one thing that gives them a chance to overcome this statistic. We are hopeful the skills they learn will help them to find housing, an internship, a job or seek higher education once they age out. If we can intervene now, we can keep these kids off the streets in the future.
Monetary donations can be securely and safely made through this website. If you feel more comfortable mailing a check, please mail to the Sheehan Adopt-A-Family Project located at 1590 Rosecrans Avenue, Suite D 360, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266. All donations are 501©(3) deductible and all our admin costs are absorbed by family so you can be assured that 100% of your donation is going straight into the hands of those who need it most.