Beyond Emancipation

Flood causes housing crisis

When Shaheda stepped onto the carpet, she knew something wasn’t right.

“The water came up above the top of my shoe,” says Shaheda, residential counselor for Beyond Emancipation. “The floor was sopping wet.”

In a matter of hours, the three-bedroom house in East Oakland went from a home to a construction zone as a plumbing issue overflowed gallons of water.

Anyone would be traumatized if they were forced to pack up their belongings and move immediately.  But for the three young women who called this place home, this was especially the case.

This was a home for young women who had been in the foster care system – young women who are all too familiar with packing their belongings in a hurry and being forced to move on short notice.

Many teens in foster care can’t count the number of placements (“homes”) they’ve lived in on one hand. Or even two hands. When they leave the foster care system at 18, stability is a foreign concept.

One of the young women who called this house home said that when she got the call from Shaheda that she had to pack her things, it was very triggering. It reminded her of when she was a kid, and she and her mom moved around a lot.

Our charge at Beyond Emancipation is to provide transitional housing for young people with experience in foster care, while providing supportive services to help these young people find long-term stable housing, education, work and permanent connections.

“B:E is here for young people transitioning out of foster care,” says Deputy Director Nella Goncalves. “This flood illuminates how fleeting housing can be, and why B:E’s services are so critical.”

Emergencies happen all the time with the youth we serve. We are here to help the youth quickly bounce back, ensuring at a minimum they have food, shelter and support.

Last year alone we provided housing for over 90 young people with experience in foster care, plus an additional 35 of their children. 

To ensure these and other young people get the support they deserve, we are initiating a campaign to raise at least $10,000 in response to this emergency. Won’t you give today?