Ways To Give

Become a Volunteer

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Frequently Asked Questions

He/she is dropped off somewhere to embark on adulthood alone, usually with little or no money, a back pack, and the clothes on their back. Left with no support, it is likely that this is the first day that begins a life of poverty, criminal activity, and drug use and addiction. It is imperative that we do something even before they age out of foster care to keep these youth on course, or course correct early on.
He/she struggles alone. If the child is a minor, it is nearly impossible to find a job. Dropping out of school becomes easy due to transportation, peer influence (the homeless kids usually only have one set of clothes and are met with a lot of bullying) and lack of guidance. Too often than not teachers and principals are struggling to help kids with food, clothes, school supplies, housing, transportation, hygiene items and more. There is no reason any child or young adult should be homeless in Southern Nevada. Yet, approximately 1 out of every 4 of our youth are homeless. Southern Nevada is #2 for the most homeless and/or unaccompanied youth. In foster care, the kids who are 14 years old and older will begin aging out of the system. As they approach the age of emancipation they join other homeless teens as they face unique challenges and barriers to success. Many of these young people have experienced significant trauma and instability in their lives, and as a result, may lack the necessary life skills, education, and support to transition successfully into adulthood. After all, many of us need the guidance and advice of our parents well into adulthood.
The difference is that a child in foster care has secure housing, never worries about transportation, knows where his next meal is coming from, is receiving needed therapies needed, sees the doctor and dentist on a regular basis, participates in events through the Department of Family Services, is recognized during the holiday season. Ag out foster kids, beginning at 14 years old learn to navigate their own responsibilities, usually not even knowing what those might be, they have to find their own housing after they turn 18, have to apply for it, put down a security deposit, establish utilities and more often than not, they don’t have a job, their vital records needed to achieve these tasks, have no credit, and usually don’t know even where to start. Aged out foster youth don’t have the security of a home and bed to sleep in, don’t have the security of food and meals for the day, struggle to find transportation, and because of that often miss doctor and dental appointments. Further, they don’t have computers, don’t have WIFI and usually do not have any household items to include linens, a bed, pots, pans, utensils, furniture, hangers, etc. Saying the need is great is a gross understatement.
The number of homes a foster child may live in by the time he/she turns 18 can vary widely and depends on the individual circumstances of each child. Some foster children experience multiple placements, moving through different foster homes, group homes, or residential facilities. Some of our clients who entered into foster care around the age of 5 years old have reported being in as many as 20 homes by the their 18th birthday.
More often than not most aging out foster children are aging out because they have no family. To no fault of their own, they entered into foster care, most under 5 years old, and grew up never being adopted. Upon turning 18 years old, they are considered adults and are expected to navigate life alone.
Teens and young people can become homeless for various reasons, and it’s often a complex and multifaceted issue. Some common factors contributing to teen homelessness include: Family issues, economic factors, mental health challenges, substance abuse, LGBTQ+ issues, aging out of foster care, educational challenges, juvinile (criminal) issues, emergencies, unstable housing issues, parental abandonment, neglect and abusive household, and more. Most of the time youth homelessness is to no fault of the youth.
If a youth/teen becomes homeless and never enters the foster care system (those that do are the lucky ones of this demographic) it is likely that he or she does not have a birth certificate or social security card. Unless he or she still has a student ID, this young person will have no ID and will face extreme obstacles to obtain one. For those aging out of foster care, they are supposed to be given their vital documents on their 18th birthday. However, many never receive them, or lose them shortly thereafter due to their homelessness.

Getting involved with A Whole Lotta Kindness can be a rewarding experience. Here are several ways you can get support our vision and mission:

  1. Donate: Monetary and in-kind donations are so appreciated. Most youth need everything. We find Walmart/Target or Amazon gift cards are a great help! Monetary donations help support our programs that enhance the physical, mental, emotional, and intellectual lives of our youth.
  2. Volunteer:  We have events that need help with setup, teardown, spreading the word, and more.  
  3. Become an Advocate: Under the Volunteer category, we are supported by those that have a skill or passion to help teach our youth. This includes art classes, music assistance, yoga, medication, and more.
  4. Spread the word: We always need help telling others about our vision and mission. If you know someone who can donate, please ask! If you know youth that need our help, please send them our way.
  5. Contact us and just ask! We are grateful for your passion to course correct our those that need our help!