“The pimps will take them.”
That line hit me like a punch to my gut. I was talking with a child welfare worker in a west-coast county. She explained when kids age out of foster care at 18, they are given a housing stipend of $1,000 a month that basically covers rent for a bedroom in this expensive area.
She said, “Good families don’t want these kids, but the pimps will take them. They will take all their money, and they force them into sex trafficking.”
Not only did this feel sickening to me, it felt maddening. I thought, why aren’t Christians stepping up? Aren’t we supposed to be different? Aren’t we supposed to love our neighbor? Aren’t we supposed to step into the ditch and bind the wounded when others pass by?
I get it though; these kids can be tough. Why wouldn’t they be? They’ve been harmed by family and forgotten by the community. They feel unwanted. They’ve had to get tough.
But maybe you are the kind of person these kids can count on. You don’t have to be perfect; in fact, if you’ve had tough times too, then that can help you relate. If you can be there and open your home and heart before these kids age out, even better. And if they do age out, you can still be there for them. If not, the pimps will take them.
How can you help?
1 Share this post. It’s not just that people don’t care; it’s that they are unaware. Get the word out.
2 Join us on Sun., May 17th or Thurs. May 21st for an online event: Prepare to Be a Foster Parent.
3 Invest in our work. We help many kids belong to healing families. We are deeply grateful for your generosity. Donate Here
P.S. If I were you, you might ask, “What have you (the writer) done?” Fair question. We have fostered kids for years. We also opened our hearts and home to a young man who aged out of foster care. He came to live with us for a “few weeks” to get on his feet. He’s been with us for three years now. He’s healed a lot, and he is launching soon. Has it been easy? Nope! Has it been good? Yes!
Brian Mavis is founder and President of America’s Kids Belong.