HUD Secretary Ben Carson announces foster care initiative in Milwaukee

NOW: HUD Secretary Ben Carson announces foster care initiative in Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson was in Milwaukee to announce a new housing initiative for young people aging out of foster care.

Carson took to the podium at Journey House, a community center on the city’s south side.

"Today, it's really both a professional and personal pleasure to announce the Foster Youth to Independence Initiative," he said.

The new program will help adults under age 25 who are leaving the foster care system by issuing housing vouchers.

The goal is end homelessness. About 25-percent aging out of the system will become homeless in the next four years, according to experts.

Leaders at the Journey House, which provides housing for young people without a home, said the program is necessary. "If you're dealing with, you don't know where you're gonna sleep at night, you don't know where your next meal is coming from, all those stressors impact your life and your life choices," said Dr. Michele Bria, chief executive officer of Journey House.

The vouchers will be offered to certain public housing authorities in small communities and rural areas.

22-year-old Keandre Lee hopes the program makes the transition easier for others. “I been in and out of group homes, foster homes, treatment centers,” said Lee, fellow at Journey House. “Just a lot being in and out of places. It's kind of hard to get comfortable in a place."

According to Carson, similar HUD efforts helped decrease veteran homelessness by more than 5-percent, in the last year.

During his visit, Carson also toured the center and took part in a round table discussion with social service professionals. 

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