Program Bridges The Gap Between Foster Care & Adulthood

By Britt Moreno

AURORA, Colo (CBS4) – A baby squealed and laughter filled a modest apartment room in Aurora. Young, single mom, Krista, chased after her children two-year-old Ezra and one-year-old Adeline. She tried to wrangle them into the living room and occupy their attention just long enough to share her story with CBS4’s Britt Moreno. She said her purpose every day lies within her children.

bridging the gap 5 Program Bridges The Gap Between Foster Care & Adulthood

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“I can’t give up I won’t give up. You have two little people looking up to you” said Krista.

Krista found her way after aging out of foster care and spending time in a group home. She admitted she made many mistakes during her childhood and even went to jail. Today she has found guidance and hope through her life coach, Anna Marie Jones, who is a part of Mile High United Way’s Bridging the Gap Program.

LINK: Mile High United Way’s Bridging the Gap Program

Jones helped Krista find housing and the funds to pay for it. She helped Krista map out her education. Krista told Jones she wanted to graduate as a pharmacy technician. Recently she earned that degree.

bridging the gap 2 Program Bridges The Gap Between Foster Care & Adulthood

(credit CBS)

Jones said she feels like a proud mom

“We all need encouragement. When I see her, I know she can do anything. I can see her doing great things in the future,” Jones told CBS4.

Jones continued to guide Krista into obtaining an internship. She offers support and a listening ear. Krista admited she was initially embarrassed by the housing help. She said she doesn’t want to rely on housing forever, but she also said she is grateful.

bridging the gap 1 Program Bridges The Gap Between Foster Care & Adulthood

(credit CBS)

“We’re human and we need help. I hope to give back one day,” Krista explained.

CBS4 SPECIAL REPORTS: Aging Out

In order to be eligible for Bridging the Gap, you have to be between 18 and 25 years old. You don’t have to work or be in school to qualify for the program, but life coaches work on achieving these goals. To qualify for the FUP (Family Unification Program) you have to have had a child welfare placement like foster homes or group homes or have been homeless, after the age of 16. The Bridging the Gap program offers assistance to people previously in the child welfare system who are transitioning to adulthood or self-sufficiency.

Additional Resouces

The following are helpful resources for people who are aging out of foster care and for the people who care for them.

Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Public Awareness Campaign
Child Abuse & Neglect Hotline
1-844-CO-4-KIDS
Learn more about foster care and adoption in Colorado.
co4kids.org

United Way Bridging the Gap
helping teens live on their own after foster care
unitedwaydenver.org/bridging-the-gap
303-433-8383

Dream Makers Project
making dreams come true for former foster care youth
dreammakersproject.org

Chafee Program
life skills program provided through human services dept. of each county
denverchafee.org

CBS4 Wednesday’s Child Section
cbsdenver.com/wednesdayschild/

The Adoption Exchange
promoting adoption for foster care youth
adoptex.org
303-755-1339

Adoption Exchange’s Birthday Wishes Program
adoptex.org/get-involved/donate/birthday-wishes-program/
303-755-1339

Office of the Lt. Governor
colorado.gov/ltgovernor
303-866-2885

SOAR! Youth & Adult Choir
soaryouthandadultchoir.org 720-218-1433 (Youth)
720-989-5744 (Adults)

Britt Moreno anchors the CBS4 morning and noon newscasts and is the Wednesday’s Child reporter. She loves hearing from viewers. Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter @brittmorenotv.

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