I don’t often address issues related to foster care because I really don’t have any direct experience with that system – thankfully.
Even so, homelessness is an issue close to my heart since my own youngest sister was homeless for 4 years and somehow survived that and even managed to extricate herself from that about 10 years ago. Her situation remains precarious and my heart hopes she doesn’t end up in those dire straits again but there is no certainty.
I have learned that when children in foster care reach a certain age, they are put out without much in the way of resources. Some even run away from foster care before they reach that age. These are children who lack any kind of supportive family to love and care for them. Their parents may be in prison or addicted to drugs and self-absorbed. Or their parents may have even died.
There is a non-profit known as Pivot in Oklahoma that is trying to do something substantial to help youth who would be homeless otherwise. They are building a community of tiny homes to primarily serve the needs of 16 to 19 year old youth. These are located right outside of the organization’s headquarter. In addition to providing a bed, small kitchen and bathroom (a roof over their heads), the organization provides services.
They help the teen get a job. They teach them life skills. And they provide therapeutic attention to help these youth heal from a less visible internal hurt. So regardless of the reason their parents are absent, a youth is understandably upset that the person who was supposed to take care of them, is not there for them.
All children still do love their parents at that level of attachment from birth. There is a grieving process that needs to be addressed – what should have been, could have been – wasn’t. This healing is necessary if a person is truly to move forward with their lives in a productive manner.