Home Works USA
A new approach for young people aging out of foster care.
Tens of thousands of young people “age out” of foster care every year—often with few options for where to live next. If they are unable to find housing, this can set their lives on a difficult path leading to unemployment, involvement with the criminal justice system, and even homelessness.
Affordable housing combined with essential supports can be a launching pad to financial independence for these young adults. With improved earning capacity through education, job training, work experience or entrepreneurial ventures, they are better able to transition to adulthood.
Home Works USA is piloting a new housing model for emerging adults leaving foster care. This intentional community will provide stable, affordable housing along with health and mental health services, and supports for education, job training, and employment to allow them to imagine and realize their dreams.
The pilot project - sited on a 25-acre private parcel in Lawrence, Kansas - will integrate solar power, onsite food gardens, and a public walking trail to create an environmentally conscious community.
Scenes from the Solar Learning Project at the Home Works USA Community, funded by WK Kellogg Foundation. Employees of Good Energy Solutions are installing solar panels on gazebos constructed by YouthBuild KCK, teaching these young people about the racking system as they install the solar panels.
The housing units are clustered in small groups that share common spaces and facilities to provide essential supports and services, and sustain community connectedness and interpersonal relationships.
With a little help from our friends (and neighbors).
Earlier this year, Home Works USA team put out a call for volunteers. Our wonderful neighbor Jeff Perry answered the call. He and his Kubota spent the day taking down the weeds that sprang up during this very wet summer. With some good hot weather to work in, we are now ready for trenching for septic, electricity, and cable.
Our progress forward continues to bring our vision alive. Friends, neighbors, and volunteer have helped us so much. If you would like to pitch in to bring new, energy efficient home to young people leaving the foster care system, please contact Project Director Frankie Foster-Davis at email@example.com. And to donate, click here.
Water, water everywhere.
It’s great to have the site now connected to Rural Water District No. 13. This will be the main conduit to bring water service to the individual homes while also providing fire safety.
Cleared and ready.
After clearing the site last year (use video tab to view the site work), local contractors Bell's Turf has returned this season to lay the concrete slabs that will be the foundations for each unit. Stay tuned for updated photos!
Companies That Step Up
When Home Works USA needed a place to receive 12,000 square feet of engineered wood floor planks, Kring’s Interiors answered the call. Despite having a small warehouse space, Britt opened his doors and allowed his staff to help during their regular work day. Chris unloaded the delivery truck, staging and restaging the pallets when it took two days to move the wood to storage. We are thankful to Britt and everyone at Kring’s who helped us with this big delivery.
Half of the wood planks donated by Mullican Flooring. Home Works USA extends a special thank you to Neil Poland and the many employees who worked on managing the project until enough wood planks were collected and delivered to Kring’s. Mr. Poland committed to this project in 2018 and although we were not ready until 2021, he kept his promise.
Another heartfelt thank you to the guys at Crookham Construction for help unloading the pallets. We can tell you the work went a lot faster with a forklift. But when they were not on site, we unloaded each pallet one box at a time. One of our friends from Build Smart, Jeff Little, happened by and made a tremendous dent in unloading pallets in just one evening.
Every time, we look at the finished houses, we will see the hands and hearts of many who donated time, material, and more to make each house a home. Thanks again for stepping up!