SAN ANTONIO — Aging out of the child welfare system can be traumatic, not even considering all the things that young adults have to worry about after that.
Most of those young people have been through enough trauma already, and adding the daily stressors of life can only make things that much difficult. This week THRU Project teamed up with the San Antonio Apartment Association to hold a workshop to learn the ins and outs of searching for an apartment.
'Apartments 101,' said THRU CEO Courtney Laverty. 'How do you look for an apartment? What do you look for in a lease?,' she said.
Every year 1,200 San Antonio kids age out of the system, and with rental housing in constant short supply, and very competitive, educating foster youth on how those particulars is essential.
The SAAA walked the youth through the process of finding an apartment, and the financial considerations to take into account related to housing.
"This is a breakthrough because lots of us come from traumatic situations where we knew we could live in an apartment, much less have our own place at all," said foster youth Daniel.
"That is our goal to teach them to be happy, healthy and self sufficient," Laverty said.
"For those that were in foster care or former youth, they find that it is really a difficult transition,' said Daniel. "You don't have to be alone. There are lots of programs out there to help you."
Foster youth Heather said that anything that she does with THRU project is like being with family.
"I haven't been any better than the way I am now," she said. "Events like this make me happy. It gets me out of my house. I can make new friends."
We asked both Heather and Daniel what it was like to now be living on their own.
"It's fun,' said Daniel. "I get to customize my own apartment. I get to have my own schedule to and from work. When I'm at home I like to play video games or get college schoolwork done."
Heather said it is a little bit scary, but there is nothing like home.
"I finally have my own place to call my home," she said.
THRU Project just recently launched a college housing project. Laverty says they really need apartments close to UTSA and Texas A&M San Antonio as many of their youth are working toward college degrees.