The Bridge to Independence Program in Action

Sarah met with Governor Dave Heineman at the State Capitol to advocate for improvements to the system for youth in care.

Sarah met with Governor Dave Heineman at the State Capitol to advocate for improvements to the system for youth in care.

We could not be more excited that the Bridge to Independence (B2I) program has finally begun! B2I provides young adults who age out of foster care with extended services and support to age 21, including housing support, guidance from an Independence Coordinator and Medicaid coverage.  We’re thrilled for the B2I start because now young adults like Sarah will have the assistance they need to help them in their transition into adulthood.

At age 19, Sarah will soon be starting classes to become a firefighter.  As a dedicated member of Project Everlast’s Lincoln Council, Sarah is a passionate advocate who stands up for systemic improvements to Nebraska’s child welfare system. She was one of the many devoted young adults who made their voices heard in support of LB 216, the bill that established the B2I program.

Sarah signed up for B2I when the program began in October and has begun meeting with her Independence Coordinator.  She believes B2I, “will be a great opportunity [for her]” as well as for “future youth who age out.”  Sarah says she has enjoyed meeting with her Indepence Coordinator who has assisted her in accomplishing some of her goals including financial guidance and housing support. Sarah and her Independence Coordinator have also spent time in the last month volunteering together at the Foster Care Closet.

Young adults who may be eligible and are interested in signing up for the Bridge to Independence program can check out the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services B2I website and can complete this online application.

By the end of the first month of the program nearly 75 young adults had enrolled. We are excited about the progress of the B2I program and hope it continues to reach even more young adults in the coming months.

To learn more, Appleseed’s B2I page also has a number of resources for young adults, service providers, judges and other professionals.

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