2 Teens Homeless After Foster Care Ends
San Joaquin County Officials Say Teens Can't Be Forced Into Housing
June 26, 2009
MANTECA, Calif. -- Nathan Green and Ryan Race, both 18 years old, are broke, homeless and often hungry.
The teens said they were told to get out of their foster homes as soon as they graduated from high school and are now on a waiting list for housing and sleeping in cardboard boxes. They have no family.
"I had a backpack, the clothes on my back, and I just left," Green said.
Race said the teens hustle to get money to eat.
"It's probably illegal, but what do they want us to do, just sit here and die?" Race said.
Both Green and Race have been in foster care for more than 10 years.
County foster care officials said there are many programs available that Green and Race could use.
"Many of these kids have been offered services and are so anxious to get out of foster care and be on their own that they think they can survive, but they don't," Kathy Stanley from San Joaquin Child Welfare said. "If they chose to not accept housing, we can't make them."
Both boys said they hope to join the military and trade in their cardboard boxes for barracks.
San Joaquin County officials said they will contact Green and Race to get them the help they need.