Angels Share Mission

To build and develop self-sustaining infrastructure and support necessary for those youth aging out of foster care who are committed to helping themselves achieve the highest levels of fulfillment, productivity and opportunities for growth while cultivating human relationships and the responsibility and dignity of the individual now and in the future.

The Goal

The goal of the community is to reduce the homeless trajectory created at an early age for the homeless. This means reducing the number of youth aging out of foster care who end up homeless by the time they are 26. To do this it takes more than one variable changed to be successful.

Utilizing a 151 acre campus/community where all focus is on the success of the youth and building a safety net for them in the future. A community of vocational and life skills learning, mentoring, provides employment opportunities and develops self-sufficiency.

Blair is approximately 20 minutes from Omaha on the recently completed 4-lane highway and is part of the Omaha MSA. It is complete with 5 dormitory buildings for conversion to apartments, a gymnasium, library, fine arts building and numerous other buildings either rentable to companies and institutions for self-sustaining income or converted to apartments for more youth and elderly.

Blair area companies need over 100 employees including trades, transportation and telecommunications and are willing to pay good salaries, provide health benefits and willing to train and work with the young adults.

The acreage around the campus will be developed into workforce housing, low income housing, and workforce apartments.

There is a dormitory currently set-up as apartments that are being turned into housing for 24 young adults. AS is working with local corporations to prepare jobs and transportation and to open the gym to allow for exercise. The service providers are identifying the characteristics of the first tenants with the anticipated opening of January 2019. Life skills and support programs are being developed for this first group.

Angels Share passed the first step in the NIFA Crane application process and was approved to continue to formally apply for federal tax credits that would provide $9.0M for rehabilitation of dormitories.

Why Are We Doing This

According to Casey Family Programs, about 25,000 young people between the ages of 18 and 21 must leave foster care each year. Estimates vary widely, but between 11 and 37 percent of youth aging out of foster care experience homelessness after they transition. Approximately 25% of former foster youth nationwide reported that they had been homeless within 2 to 4 years of exiting foster care. (National Alliance to End Homelessness). In addition, the unemployment rate among foster care alumni was 47% (Chapin Hall Midwest Study).

In a report from Omaha Project Everlast, the 221 Omaha youth who participated in the April 2016 administration of the survey, a significant portion of youth ages 19+ were not enrolled in school (59%), did not go on to take any kind of college level courses (67%), and were trying to find work (39%). In a 2015 statewide survey conducted by Nebraska Children and Families of 486 young people, a significant portion of youth ages 19+ were not enrolled in school (64%), did not go on to take any kind of college level courses (70%), and were trying to find work (34%).

According to Evidence-based Solutions to Homelessness, prevention can be approached through a more enduring path to ending homelessness by fixing the systemic problems that cause it: income, wealth, and opportunity, and a failure of the social safety net. Thus, intervening with people experiencing crises before they show up at the shelter door.