Part 1: Ready or Not
Part 2: Preparation for Independence
So what are the options for the Love and Hope kids when they turn eighteen? The child welfare laws in El Salvador (LEPINA) state that after a young person turns eighteen, they are no longer an adolescent and they are no longer part of “the system.” They are legally an independent adult. Children’s Homes in El Salvador are prohibited from having anyone over the age of eighteen in a home with children and adolescents that are still part of the child welfare system.
But at Love and Hope our mission does not stop when our “kids” turn eighteen. In fact, we’ve found that the transition years from teen to adult are some of the most important years for young people to feel supported in order to successfully reach independence. We want our kids to be certain that there is hope and a bright future on their horizon. That is why we created the Horizon Home.
We want our kids to be certain that there is hope and a bright future on their horizon.
When our kids turn eighteen they can now continue to stay in a home where they are being loved, supported, and encouraged while they finish high school and continue on through university. Of course, some things do change when they enter the Horizon House. Here they start to learn more practical skills for independence: working, cooking, shopping, paying bills (perhaps they want a cell phone), navigating public transportation, going alone to doctor’s visits, and much more. There is no one forcing them to do their homework or make it to class on time, but rather there are standards they have to meet in order to continue stay at the Horizon House.
Without the Horizon House, many of our kids would be forced to return to biological family they don’t know very well, or to live in a part of the country that lacks security and opportunity. In many ways, it would be a dead end. By providing safe housing (universities here do not have dormitories), access to transportation, and the resources necessary to study (computers, internet, etc) they can continue to invest in their education and future. It also allows them to be surrounded by people who can help them navigate the challenges of this new stage of life with Godly wisdom and love. We’ve walked by these kids most (or nearly all!) of their first 18 years, and we plan to help them reach their full potential.
Are you a person that remembers navigating the difficult transition into adulthood? If you had people in your life that played a significant role in setting you up for success, or if you wish you had people to support you at that time in your life, consider doing just that for the young people at Love and Hope!
Each month is takes an average of $3,500 to keep the Horizon House up and running. This includes rent, the salaries of the two staff members that are on alternating shifts, food, bills and even the education of the young people that are currently residing in the home! While a university education is financially out of reach for many in El Salvador, it is very affordable compared to the United States. Many of our kids are able to attend top universities in El Salvador for around $150/month.
If you’d like to support the Horizon Home, please visit our donation page to give once, or become a monthly sponsor. If you’re interested in helping sponsor a youth through university, please contact us.
In our next post, we’ll share some stories from our young adults that show how support from the Horizon Home has helped them achieve success.