Across the country, everyone is talking about a “housing crisis.” For youth who age out of foster care, just finding a place to sleep each night is a struggle. We know that nationally, 54% of recently aged-out youth are homeless or unstably housed. In addition, these youth face higher rates of unemployment, under-education, teen pregnancy, and incarceration. We are gathered here today to address the unique and dire housing needs of youth aging of foster care. I would usually begin a Symposium like this with a story of a young person’s plight, an illustration of the injustices this population faces. As you all know, each youth’s story is more tragic than the next. But yet what always surprises and inspires me most, and I am sure the same is true for you, is the incredible resilience these young people demonstrate on a daily basis.
Dale Margolin Cecka, Opening Remarks to “No Place to Live: the Housing Crisis Facing Youth Aging-Out of Foster Care,” a national symposium hosted by the Child Advocacy Clinic of St. John’s School of Law, March 28, 2008, 23 St. John's J. Legal Comment. 382 (2008).