RFL's Impact Report 2022-2023
Ready for Life provides support, resources and guidance former foster care youth need to successfully transition to adulthood. We support youth during crisis, aid in filling in life skills and learning gaps so they are not forever in crisis, remove barriers to progress like education and transportation, and help youth build a healthy, successful future.
RFL 2022-2023 Impact Report_Full
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89 youth received crisis stabilization services.
Former foster care youth often arrive at the Skill Center with very few of their basic needs met and either homeless or in unstable housing situations. We focus on what a young adult needs that day to get back on their feet.
“Ready for life has given me a second chance.”
“My first time going to a Ready for Life facility, I was greeted with kindness. I was homeless at the time and the services that were available helped me reach stable living. Along with a bus pass that helped me tremendously from getting around the Pinellas area, Ready for life also helped me so much from clothing to taking a shower. My youth specialist Nate Johnson has been the most help throughout the year, assisting me in any situation he can. Ready for life has given me a second chance. Thank you.” - Damien, RFL Young Adult
1,223 youth consultations
with a youth specialist regarding housing, mental health, employment, and/or education
407 consultations per youth specialist
74 young adults learned about healthy food choices at our Fun Fridays events
58 youth learned about managing their health at workshops & services provided by BayCare at the RFL Skill Center
31 young adults received Mental Health Counseling, available through our partnership with the Sixth Judicial Circuit | The Public Defenders’ Office
53 volunteers participated in Trauma-Informed Care Training from BayCare
Karalynna’s Journey As told by Falana Shannon, RFL Youth Specialist:
“When Karalynna aged out of foster care, RFL was her only support system. In the past year, with plenty of support from her Youth Specialist, she has gained her own housing, permanent employment, registered for school, and is now halfway done with her 2nd semester. She also has better budgeting skills, and between Opportunity Passport & Cooking with Kate, has learned how to purchase and cook cost effective meals! Her goals for her Opportunity Passport matched funds are to open her own business someday soon, We know you can do it, Karalynna! We are proud of your journey.”
Breaking the cycle of foster care:
70 young parents
159 little ones
93% of moms in our Mommy & Me parenting support group have custody of their children
Ready for Life is now an official Child Abuse Prevention Center licensed by National Exchange, implementing the Exchange Parent Aide Program. This program provides families at risk of child abuse with 6–12 months of education through a Parent Aide. Parent Aides act as mentors and provide intensive support, information, and modeling of effective parenting—all in the home of the family.
What a BIG Year it has been for Serena. She is using her challenging experiences to build a life that helps others meet their needs….
When Serena first came to Ready for Life, she was at "imminent risk of being homeless.” Like most of the former foster youth we meet at RFL, she needed crisis stabilization to support her in making the climb to independence. At the time of her intake, Serena had no transportation, no employment, and she was not attending school.
RFL provides crisis stabilization support and programs to help fill in the life skill and learning gaps that lead to crisis situations. RFL is able to provide things like Laminated, Photo ID Bus Passes for Free transportation anywhere in the county, Emergency Food Supplies, Hygiene Supplies, Clothing, Dr.’s Visits, Mental Health Counseling and Day Stop Washer and Drier and Laundry Facilities to help stabilize many crisis situations.
Serena began working with the RFL Mommy & Me Program, a support group designed to help the Moms at RFL by removing barriers, and learning learn what it means to be a successful individual, and a stable mother. Ready for Life staff, started to see that things were beginning to click with Serena, and she used her new knowledge to continue to leverage her own resilience to forge her path.
What a BIG Year this has been for Serena, in just this past year, she has continued her own dedication to building a self-sufficient, fulfilling life for herself and her young family. She is now working and going to school full time. She has completed several RFL programs including Life Skills Re-imagined (a program RFL delivers in partnership through Family Support Services), and Opportunity Passport, our advanced financial literacy course delivered in partnership with Suncoast Voices, The Anne E Casey Foundation and United Way. Only months ago, Serena completed a major accomplishment: she was finally able to purchase her first car!
Serena achieved another major accomplishment in July of 2023, she graduated college with a degree in accounting! Serena says she is not satisfied stopping there. Her plans are to continue her education into 2024 and beyond. She plans to get her certification in Child Care and has dreams of opening her own daycare one day. Serena is working to build a wonderful life for herself and her children, and in doing so she is keeping them far away from the childhood she had once experienced -- far away from the cycle of foster care. Serena’s efforts have been recognized by many, and she won this year’s Hero to a Child award through the Guardian ad Litem Foundation in Spring 2023. Just look what she’s accomplished in a year! Serena is a model for all youth who come through Ready for Life, and we can’t wait to see what she accomplishes in her future.
Our work isn’t done.
We continue to assist former foster care youth by removing the barriers to success, filling in life skills and learning gaps, and giving youth a sense of belonging through:
Mental Health Counseling
Financial Literacy & Matched Savings
Life Skills Classes
Tutoring & Job Coaching
Peer-to-Peer Support Networks
Exchange Parent Aide
Mommy & Me / Wingmen
Fun Friday Food Parties
Heroes Society members are crucial to our organization’s success. By committing to give monthly, Heroes make a life-saving difference for the former foster youth we serve by ensuring that we are prepared to assist any young adult who walks through our doors.. Whether they need a hot meal or shower, mental health counseling, education support, or a mentor, Heroes Society members help us make all that possible. More info or join at rflp.info/hero
Our connection to the community strengthens all we do.
Thank you to our Program Partners providing invaluable resources at our Skill Center:
We want to thank all of our many supporters. Without your help, the results we see at Ready for Life would not be possible. Please see readyforlifepinellas.org/supporters for the full list.
Get involved and make a difference at readyforlifepinellas.org!