This has been a year like no other. The global pandemic, economic recession, ongoing fight for racial justice, and widespread wildfires truly put our resilience to the test—both individually and collectively.
The young people we serve have already experienced lives full of upheaval and instability. In the face of new unprecedented challenges, it was more vital than ever for First Place to offer them safety, support, and connection. With difficulties mounting, we remained committed to helping our young people navigate every twist and turn. As you’ve seen in this year’s outcomes and stories, our care and dedication never faltered.
When COVID-19 lockdowns began, we immediately pivoted to remote services, finding new ways to maintain young people’s links to staff, peers, and community resources. In the early days of the crisis, your support of our Emergency Fund enabled us to distribute groceries and protective gear to keep our young people healthy and safe. And as schools moved online and we began virtual workshops, your continued generosity has helped us provide the technology and coaching that empowers them to achieve.
Through it all, we never lost sight of the big picture: the need to remove barriers to success and change the odds for all foster youth. This year, we successfully advocated for California’s budget to recognize the true costs and benefits of high-impact, results-driven services and close the funding gap for providers. We also supported new legislation that temporarily extends foster care eligibility, ensuring no young person will be at risk of homelessness during COVID-19 simply because they “age out” of care.
Everything we do, we do together. Thank you for your continued commitment to First Place and our young people at this crucial time.
Chair, Board of Directors