Fox 4 news reported on Dec. 7th that the Transition Resource Action Center (TRAC) at CitySquare has become a beacon of hope for many young people aging out of the foster care system in Dallas. This year Texas had 1,246 youth, ages 18 and 19, in foster care. In Texas about 63% of youth who leave foster care emancipate, meaning they are forced to leave the system with no real support network in place. That number is higher than the nation average of 51%. The article interviews a young mother and barista by the name of Lou Anna Fowler who entered the foster care system at the age of five. TRAC helps Lou Anna and about 300 more like her in Dallas each year. With challenges stacked against them, about 68% are unemployed, 50% have experienced homelessness, 46% have not graduated high school, and 30% are parents. Madeline Reedy, director of the TRAC program at CitySquare, stated “It is a life mission to get to be hope and to provide that to the people that come through our doors.” The interview went on to feature another young woman who has benefited immensely from the program. Mandalyn Finley found the TRAC program about six months ago after experiencing homelessness. She now has an apartment through CitySquare, two jobs, and graduates the program in December. The TRAC program has existed for fifteen years now and operates with state funding and private donations. The program is on track to be like family and support to more than 800 youth in the year to come.
ABOUT TRANSITION RESOURCE ACTION CENTER
CitySquare’s TRAC program connects young people, age 16-24, who are transitioning from substitute care toward self-sufficiency, with individualized support, planning, and access to community services. TRAC offers life skills training classes, aftercase management services, workforce services, crisis intervention, housing, and comprehensive information of Texas benefits and services available.