Lynchburg, VA- Some foster children in our area grow up in complete uncertainty, tossed from family to family with no chance to settle into a stable home life. Now, a new nonprofit is trying to change things by offering support to fosters when they reach adulthood.
Impact Living Services is trying to give foster kids a second chance. They want to teach them how to live independently and give them a support system to accomplish their goals.
Whatever you face in life if you have a good support system, if you have a good family you can face just about anything," said Paul Tesi, president and founder of Impact Living Services.
Tesi has seen that come true in his own children, all fosters he adopted. Now, they are graduates, servicemen, strong adults. He wants other fosters to get the kind of support his kids did. That is why he founded Impact Living Services, which aims to help fosters who turn 18 in the system.
"We're going to help them go to school. We're going to help them get scholarships. We help them create bank accounts. We're going to help them purchase cars, help them learn all types of life skills," said Tesi.
ILS will also help them find a place to live, and the help won't stop there.
"We're interested in these kids now. But we're also interested in them 10 years from now, 20 years from now. We truly want to be a sense of permanency," said Tesi.
Tesi and ILS Director Katie Lee say without support, some fosters fall through the cracks or make tough decisions to survive.
"I talked to a girl who said she was so broke she was prostituting herself. And she lived in such a terrible setting that this lifestyle was actually an easy one to get into," said Lee.
Tesi and Lee say fosters who don't get support are more likely to end up homeless or in jail. That is why they feel their non-profit is important. ILS is currently looking for mentors, volunteers and coaches.
Get more information on the organization's website.