“The whole reason we opened the Transitional Living Center was because we had a young woman graduate from high school and had no place to go because she didn’t have any family to go to, and at that point, there were no options,” Our Friends Place Executive Director Sue Hesseltine says. “That is such a critical age where you are still making decisions that will affect the rest of your life.”
In the Dallas area, 25% of women age 18-24 fall below the poverty threshold for a single adult. Many are former foster youth, 20% of whom are homeless after 18; only half of them are employed by age 24.
Our Friends Place assists these young women through their Transitional Living Center programs and SOAR to Success prevention programs, which aim to break generational cycles of poverty, homelessness, abuse and neglect through living assistance, education and training.
Because women with a high school diploma earn 64% more than those without one, and as little as $250 in savings can prevent homelessness in young adults, Our Friends Place emphasizes education and financial responsibility.
In two of the residential centers, Beazley House and Pauline’s Place, women have their own bedrooms while sharing a kitchen, bathroom and living room with two roommates in similar situations. Residents can participate in life skills curriculum and intensive case management. Job training, education and employment assistance are also available.