The Agape House (TAH) is a 501c3 not-for-profit agency with the primary goal of offering non-timed limited housing to women of color, between the ages of 18-21, especially as they “age-out” of foster care. TAH is unique but practical in its approach to provide education and/or training as well as life skills for each woman in the program. TAH is committed to seeing each woman employed and relocated to permanent housing. Agape House, a preventative program is designed to provide women, who would be likely candidates for human trafficking, safe housing and training before they can reach the “streets”.
We believe every woman needs a support system in order to succeed. An integral part of the Agape House Model incorporates the personal female coach/mentor who commits to one woman, for a year, who has aged-out of foster care. Additionally, there is at least one professional mentor who is committed to overseeing the success of that same woman.
Coaches and mentors will be offered individual support and bi-monthly training. Wrap around therapeutic services will be offered to all women by partner agencies. This aspect of our program offers cost-effective support as well as collaborative efforts with others providing similar services. We are encouraged by the support of such agencies as Union Gospel’s Hope Place, Tree House, New Horizons, Olive Crest, Friends of Youth, City ChurchFoster Care Program and Therapeutic Health Services.
The Department of Social and Health Services Report of January 2015 state that:
1) One in four young people studied (1,213) experience homelessness after aging-out of care.
2) In King County there were 355 or 37% who were homeless without housing.
3) Youth who become homeless are more likely to be African American or are 82 percent more likely than other youth to experience homelessness after aging out.
4) Youth who become homeless are more likely to have changed schools a lot and have issues with substance abuse, mental illness, poor academic outcomes such as lower test scores and a higher drop out rate. This contributes to the statistics that show only 50% of all youth who have aged-out graduate from high school.
5) Only 2 percent of those who have aged-out of foster care ever enter college.
6) Recent data shows that at least 70% of those who are trafficked and “working the streets” have had experiences in the foster care system.
The Committee to End Homelessness’s 10-year plan (April 2010) also noted that people of color are significantly over-represented in the homeless population. Their data showed that while people of color comprise 27% of the general population they make up at least 64% of all people who are homeless.
The Committee to End Homelessness also supports efforts to provide housing, wrap around services, education and employment, the foundational approach of The Agape House. The electronic edition of the Seattle Times PI October 2010 published an article entitled “Fresh Out of Foster Care and Homeless”. It states, “Some estimate up to 2 million young people become homeless nationwide each year. In King County, an estimated 1,000 young people are homeless on any given night. It is a group driven by two large converging forces-an economy that has been especially brutal on young people and the large numbers currently “aging out” or growing to adulthood in foster care”. The young woman coming out of foster care without housing, support, education and/or training is, in our opinion, vulnerable without the necessary tools to lead her to success. When they “age-out” of foster care many become victims of physical and emotional distress and many end up chronically homeless as adults. The challenge in the coming years is to bring to scale programs to help create housing and social stability for youth and young adults aging out of foster care”.
The Agape House’s mandate, mission and model intersect with the findings of the commission. The Agape House urgency is now to provide the housing and education for a group of young women who we do not wish to see “circular-filed”. Each day without safe housing increases the possibility these young women will have to seek out a means of work that will sabotage their sense of dignity and worth thus limiting their possibilities for a successful future,
Help us save a life ...
The AGAPE HOUSE is in motion!
In 2016, we acquired our first rental home and our campaign continues to raise the $100,000/year to cover operating costs and services.
In the next year we hope to expand with additional rental housing units and services. We will accomplish this through contributions from private donors, individuals, faith-based organizations, grants awarded, and through social-entrepreneurship.
Statistics and FAQ'S
"According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, 60% of exploited or trafficked youth have been in the foster care system".
In Seattle and King County, African/Black American are over represented and under served. While they account for 7% of the overall population, African-American kids make up approximately 1/3 of the children in the foster care system and 1/3 of homeless youth in King County.