Founder of The First Place Fund for Youth
1998 Global Fellow
Seventeen to twenty-one-year-olds who have aged out of foster care stop receiving county-funded foster services once discharged from care. Moreover, there are limited community-based services available. Instead of receiving support and guidance during this critical transition, emancipated foster youth are without housing, a source of income, adult encouragement, or community support. First Place promotes long-term self-sufficiency among emancipated foster youth by providing them with the skills, resources, and support to make a successful transition to adulthood. First Place pursues its goal through three programs: the Supported Housing Program (SHP), Emancipation Training Center (ETC), and the Alameda County Foster Youth Alliance (FYA). To qualify for the Supported Housing Program, First Place participants must successfully complete an eight-week economic literacy curriculum. They must also qualify for a housing microloan. The Supported Housing Program provides emancipated foster youths with access to safe, affordable housing, and a comprehensive network of supportive services.
Amy Lemley currently works for the John Burton Foundation for Children Without Homes and she founded The First Place Fund For Youth with her Echoing Green Fellowship from 1998-2002. The First Place Fund for Youth which is still operating in San Francisco, CA. This Fund is an Oakland-based nonprofit organization founded in 1998 to remedy the lack of services available to youth who are making the difficult transition from foster care to independent living.First Place targets its services to 16 to 23 year-olds who are preparing to age out of foster care or who have recently aged out of care. Once discharged from care, county-funded foster care services are discontinued for the vast majority of these young adults. Moreover, there are limited community-based services available. Instead of receiving support and guidance during this critical transition, emancipated foster youth are without housing, a source of income, adult encouragement, or community support. Amy received the Peter E. Haas Public Service Award in 2001.