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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Jamole Callahan's Letter of Support for the Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities Act

Jamole, facilitating a COTA Bus Scavenger Hunt
for foster care teens, to help prepare them for young adulthood.

Good morning,

My name is Jamole Callahan and I am a former foster youth from Franklin County Ohio.

I represent Alumni of Care Together Improving Outcomes Now (ACTION Ohio), a statewide organization that is dedicated to improving outcomes for current and former foster care youth. ACTION Ohio brings together the voices of youth, alumni and allies to create lasting change and to generate hope for current and former foster youth, based on access to resources, ally support and alumni expertise.

I am writing to strongly support the Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities Act. As a former foster youth myself, it matters to me that one in five young people who “age out” of foster care experience homelessness. This program offers a creative solution to help, with no additional spending required.

During my college years, there were times when I had no housing options. I didn't have family to turn to when it was time for the dorms to close for vacations and holidays. As a male, there wasn't a rush to assist me with housing. Many times sleeping on couches and completing applications for housing I knew I could not afford as a college student surviving on work study.

Now as a volunteer, I advocate for better outcomes for current and former foster youth. I see the how difficult it is for foster care alumni to get housing after they leave care. We don't have the best jobs. We don't have the rental history most places are looking for. Because we don't have these experiences, landlords are often unwilling to rent to us.

The Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities Act has my full support. I believe that it will improve outcomes for foster youth, and provide them with the opportunity to become productive citizens.

Jamole Callahan
Training and Development
ACTION Ohio
Alumni of Care Together Improving Outcomes Now

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