Brighton Home to Support Youth “Aging Out” of Foster Care Purchased with $1.5 million Gift from Liberty Mutual Foundation
BOSTON (May 25, 2023) - Today, Liberty Mutual Insurance and HopeWell announced the opening of a three-unit building in Brighton, Massachusetts that will provide a bridge for young people aging out of the foster care system. The home is the first of two that will be purchased with a $1.5 million grant from Liberty Mutual Foundation and follows the My First Place™ housing model.
My First Place™ provides shared, rent-free apartments to ensure a safe foundation for youth transitioning out of foster care. With a stable place to call home, youth can focus on their education and employment goals, hone skills needed for self-sufficiency and establish foundations for long-term success. While in the program, each young person receives individualized case management and support from a team of youth advocates, housing specialists and education and employment specialists. Youth spend an average of one to two years in the program.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), challenges associated with aging out of foster care include housing instability, a lack of financial support and limited employment opportunities. Nationally, one in five youth experience homelessness between ages 17 and 19, one in four experience homelessness from 19 to 21, and less than five percent graduate from college.
“In Massachusetts, 600-900 young people age out of the foster care system each year without the support of a permanent family,” said HopeWell President and CEO, Shaheer Mustafa. “Our vision is to create innovative programs that provide youth the opportunities they deserve to learn, grow and thrive, and because of partners like Liberty Mutual, we can make that vision a reality.”
“By creating a safe and secure space to transition into adulthood, we can help youth aging out of foster care to build the sustainable and promising future they deserve,” said Melissa MacDonnell, President, Liberty Mutual Foundation & Vice President Community Investments, Liberty Mutual Insurance. “Liberty Mutual is proud to partner with HopeWell to support young adults during this critical time in their lives.”
The property, which will house up to six young people at a time, is located minutes from the heart of Brighton and is close to public transportation, providing easy access to job opportunities and service facilities. My First Place™ staff and youth participating in the program will select a name for the property before it officially opens this fall.
HopeWell launched My First Place™ in Greater Boston in 2018, and in 2022, expanded the program to serve Springfield, Massachusetts. The model was developed over two decades ago by First Place for Youth, a California-based nonprofit with a strong track record of supporting youth aging out of foster care. HopeWell’s affiliate sites have already helped over 90 young people with housing, education and employment support. First Place for Youth continues to provide technical assistance and thought partnership to improve outcomes for youth aging out of foster care.
At HopeWell, our mission is to enrich the lives and expand the opportunities of individuals and families in need of love, support and safe places to grow and thrive.
Founded in 1964, HopeWell has regional offices across Massachusetts and supports more than 1,500 children, families and individuals across the Commonwealth each year. We are the largest nonprofit provider of comprehensive foster care in the state. We also support children experiencing foster care as they grow their early literacy skills; youth who are aging out of foster care and transitioning into adulthood; families involved with the child welfare system; and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
For more information, visit www.hopewellinc.org.
About Liberty Mutual Insurance
At Liberty Mutual, we believe progress happens when people feel secure. By providing protection for the unexpected and delivering it with care, we help people embrace today and confidently pursue tomorrow.
In business since 1912, and headquartered in Boston, today we are the fifth largest global property and casualty insurer based on 2022 gross written premium. We also rank 78 on the Fortune 100 list of largest corporations in the US based on 2021 revenue. As of December 31, 2022, we had $50 billion in annual consolidated revenue.
We employ over 50,000 people in 29 countries and economies around the world. We offer a wide range of insurance products and services, including personal automobile, homeowners, specialty lines, reinsurance, commercial multiple-peril, workers compensation, commercial automobile, general liability, surety, and commercial property.
For more information, visit www.libertymutualinsurance.com.