Community Center To Give Foster Youth Job Experience

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — An organization dedicated to helping former foster youth gain life skills for success is in the process of opening its new Oildale location.

Covenant Community Services (Covenant) at 1700 North Chester Avenue is known as the Headquarters of Hope.

The organization has moved into a new building that is set to open in March and will provide a future and hope to many leaving the foster care system.

“What Covenant does is bring you together for a bigger picture,” said former foster youth David Balderas. “It’s a family that brings all those lost souls together as one and all of a sudden you look around and everybody has a common connection.”

Many youth said that while being in the foster system, they had a roof over their head, but when they turned 18 they were left out in the cold.

Many former foster youth end up back in the system due to the lack of proper life training.

“Covenant is that surrogate parent that steps in for the 18- to 24-year-olds that can help guide them and shape their futures,” said Randy Martin of Covenant.

Precious Murphy, a former foster youth, got connected with Covenant and said they gave her new hope, a new life and the skills to succeed.

“It has given me hopes to finish schooling,” Murphy said. “It’s giving me the tools I need to be a great mom. They use the slogan ‘Hope lives here’ and it really does.”

The entire building is dedicated to helping former foster youth. There’s going to be support groups and classes to give people job training skills. There’s also going to be a coffee shop where the youth can learn more job skills as well.

Re-posted from original article at 23 News in Bakersfield, California – written by Mark Christian, reporter for North of the River District.

Go to the following link to watch the video news story: http://www.turnto23.com/news/30353125/detail.html

To see the HQ of Hope in progress go to our Flickr account here – http://www.flickr.com/photos/flatrandy/

About Covenant

Covenant Community Services, Inc. is a nonprofit serving foster children and former foster youth with hope and love. Covenant operates ten unique services and supports designed to end the cycle of abuse and neglect in our community and to spread hope through mentoring, compassionate care, services and supports.

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