‘This definitely helps’: After aging out of foster care, young adult experiences benefits of housing program

Federal Housing Program Aims To Help Young Adults Aging Out of Foster Care

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Every year, thousands of teenagers age out of the foster care system and the federal government is stepping in to help.

The housing authority said it realizes the best move for young adults is being able to have a place they call home.

Singing with excitement, Eshontee Rowe, a 23-year-old former foster kid, showed off her new apartment in Albany.

“They pay about 80 percent of my rent and it has been such a great help, especially in this COVID season. The bill’s don’t stop coming because COVID happens,” said Rowe.

Eshontee Rowe in her apartment.
Eshontee Rowe in her apartment. (Source: WALB)

For the recent Albany State graduate, the federal youth housing initiative was a dream come true.

“My community has been so great and so helpful from the time that I transitioned down here in 2015 up until now,” said Rowe.

Filled with dreams, and having to endure many things, Rowe said being in foster care for over five years has inspired her to keep going.

“I aspire to be a traveling singer and performer, as well as motivational speaker,” said Rowe. “I believe in inspiring the masses through song and through words, so that is just my ultimate goal.”

The Foster Youth for Independence program that gave Rowe another chance teaches former foster children, ages 18-24, professional and life skills, and puts rent within reach.

”This definitely helps being able to allow to save a little bit more money and be able to put my expenses where I needed to put them,” explained Rowe.

Despite her challenges, Rowe said she is planning to become a star and has a message for those who are in a similar situation as hers.

She said that foster care is a part of the story and is not the complete story and that you can aspire to be whatever you want to be.

So, what’s next for Rowe? She is planning to go to graduate school and get her masters in fine arts.

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