If your parents really did follow through on those threats to kick you out on your own when you reached 18 years old, then you would find yourself at the mercy of a cold, cruel world.

Fortunately for many, the family support still exists by the time young adults embark on their first excursion away from home. But what about an estimated 20,000 young adults in foster care across the nation who “age out” only to find themselves on their own without education opportunities, a job or even a vehicle? The odds against their getting continued education is high. Many turn out to be teenaged parents. Others are homeless. Those who leave foster care are much more likely to become involved in criminal activity.

There is hope in Meridian.

A team of community leaders and organizations has come together at Hope Village for Children to make this transition much more bearable for those who age out of foster care in the form of housing for young adults.

“This partnership will build two transitional homes for the young adults that will allow them to attend two years of college and learn life skills under the support of house parents and the staff here at Hope Village,” said Tina Aycock, executive director for Hope Village.

The two structures, which will have three bedrooms, a kitchen and living area, will be built by Habitat for Humanity on a section of land cleared off at no charge. It is a project filled with many gestures of community self help and awareness for a concern for young adults.

“This is an exciting time for us,” said Tim Allread, who is the chairman of the board for Habitat for Humanity. “We believe in this cause and are glad to be a part of it.”

“We want these young adults to be independent,” said Aycock before the ground breaking took place. “We want them to be confident and to have all the advantages of any other teenager.”

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