(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced today a new pilot program to help homeless 18 to 24 year-olds who often have trouble receiving assistance and are disproportionately victims of crime. The Older Youth Victim of Crime Initiative will focus especially on those who have "aged-out" of the foster care system.
"The systems and services that may have helped support foster children before they turned 18 are far less available to them when they become adults," said Attorney General DeWine. "The lack of appropriate services can increase the likelihood of victimization, lengthy stays on the street, and even chronic homelessness."
In an effort to reverse that trend, the Attorney General will fund three pilot projects to provide victim services through the State Victims Assistance Act (SVAA). Each project will be eligible for a two-year grant of up to $275,000.
The organizations that are awarded the grants will be located in areas where young, homeless crime victims are currently underserved. The funding will help them provide services such as court advocacy, safety planning, temporary shelter, and treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.
Attorney General DeWine recognized the need to help former foster children after organizing several Child Safety Summits across Ohio. The roundtable discussions focused on the child welfare system.
"It's time to give foster children a chance," said DeWine. "Let's treat them the same as we would our own children and do what's in their best interests."
Three more Child Safety Summits are scheduled in the upcoming months in Toledo, Youngstown, and Akron.
The application for the Aged-Out Victims of Crime Grant can be found on the Ohio Attorney general's website.
Dan Tierney -- 614-466-3840
Jill Del Greco -- 614-466-3840