Baltimore City DSS Youth, Home Depot Team Up to Remodel Youth Program Office

Baltimore, MD (September 19, 2013) – The Baltimore City Department of Social Services’ (BCDSS) Ready by 21 Program has partnered with The Home Depot Foundation to provide a 3-day building make-over to benefit older youth preparing to leave foster care.On Thursday, September 26, 2013, the Home Depot Foundation, Team Depot Staff, contractors, volunteers and Baltimore City youth will come together to put the final touches on the complete renovation of the Baltimore City Department of Social Services’ (BCDSS) Ready by 21 Program Office lobby. Home Depot staff will also lead on-site home improvement clinics for youth. The BCDSS Ready by 21 Program office is located at 1920 N. Broadway, Baltimore, MD 21213. The clinics will provide the youth with important skills they will need as they set up their own households and prepare for independent living.

The building makeover work includes:
 Creating small homework nooks for youth to complete homework or uninterrupted study
 Painting the lobby and adding murals youth have selected
 Building a cubby center to hang book bags and jackets
 Repair and replacement of VCT tile and blinds
“It is our hope that by making the area more inviting and the creation of homework nooks to provide a quiet place to sit and study after school will encourage youth to get involved with the assistance of their social worker in planning their next steps toward independence,” said Molly McGrath Tierney, Baltimore City DSS director.
What is Ready by 21?
Ready by 21 prepares teenage foster youth to transition out of care. Approximately 60% of youth in care being over the age of 14; most of these children have spent their entire childhood in care. The Baltimore City Department of Social Services’ (BCDSS) commitment to ensuring positive outcomes for youth in foster care focuses on four guiding priorities:
1. Ensuring our youth have a medical home
2. Ensuring our youth have a minimum credit score
3. Ensuring our youth have sustainable housing
4. Ensuring our youth have sufficient income
BCDSS recognizes that this is not a task that can be done alone. To that end, the Ready by 21 Program has been designed to act a support to youth in care, BCDSS staff, and community providers. Ready by 21 has teams of specialists who are dedicated to ensuring that older youth in foster care have comprehensive plans designed to lead them towards success in each of the priorities and have ready access to community-based resources that will provide long-term support and opportunities.
A key component of the program is centered on the development of experiential learning opportunities and connections to community partners. These opportunities are designed to provide real-time experiences that hone independent living skills. We pull support from our community partners who can provide expert knowledge in particular life skills domains such housing, education, health, and employment. The ultimate goal is connecting youth to resources that will ensure a smooth transition to independent living.
These opportunities are updated regularly on our BCDSS Ready by 21 website which can be found at https://sites.google.com/site/bcdssreadyby21lifeskills/. For more information about BCDSS Ready by 21 please visit our website or contact us at 443-423-6121.
Media Availability:
When: 9/26/2013, 10:00 a.m. – 11:-00 a.m.
Who: Designated youth and program personnel will be available for interview
Where: 1920 N. Broadway, Baltimore, MD 21213

Filed in: DHS News

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