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.
“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.
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.
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.
“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.
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
Learn more about foster care and adoption in Colorado.
United Way Bridging the Gap
helping teens live on their own after foster care
Dream Makers Project
making dreams come true for former foster care youth
life skills program provided through human services dept. of each county
CBS4 Wednesday’s Child Section
The Adoption Exchange
promoting adoption for foster care youth
Adoption Exchange’s Birthday Wishes Program
Office of the Lt. Governor
SOAR! Youth & Adult Choir
soaryouthandadultchoir.org 720-218-1433 (Youth)