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Foster care, homelessness, crimes of survival and independent living programs: some recommendations

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Homelessness is often linked to the commission of crimes of survival (i.e. property and violent crimes) and ‘quality of life’ offenses (seen in city ordinances). One population with particularly high rates of homelessness is youths exiting state-provided foster care systems. Studies show that youths who are emancipated from these systems lack sufficient life skills, which results in approximately one in four experiencing periods of homelessness in the years following emancipation. Independent Living Programs strive to prepare older foster youth for the transition out of care to self-sufficiency. This author reviewed The Inn Home’s Independent Living Program in Portland, Oregon. Based on this review and subsequent reviews of literature, recommendations for programming to reduce the rates of homelessness and the related commission of survivalist crimes are presented; these include, increased focus on job readiness skills training as well as transitional housing resources.
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