Dover organization opening third transitional home for young adults aging out of foster care
DOVER, Del.- An organization is getting ready to open their third transitional home that’ll provide more than a safe space for less fortunate young adults.
“We have a lot of youth, who are able and who want to do a good job, they just need a chance; so having the support of places like Murphey School to help them along that way is just a value I can’t sell anymore,” Trenee Parker, the Director of Division of Family Services, said.
Giving foster kids and young adults an upperhand is a part of the work they’re doing at The Elizabeth W. Murphey School. The Dover non-profit organization provides residential group care and transitional care for homeless children.
“My goal was always to be able to work with kids and my other goal was to expand transitional living,” Melissa Briddell, the Independent Living Director, said. “The age 18 to 23 there is nothing out there for them and they struggle daily for housing.”
Briddell has been a foster mom since 1997 and house parent at the Murphey School. She said she’s seen firsthand just how transformative these homes can be. “People assume that kids are 18-years-old and they are in foster care when it’s time for them to age out of care they assume that they know what to do, where to go, and they don’t,” Briddell said. They struggle with mental health issues too, they’ve been abused.”
And now, as the organizations third home opens soon they hope to continue closing the gap these young adults face.
“So, each is assigned a mentor that works with them from ages 18 to 23 and helps them learn the things they need to to get their first vehicles, to get their first insurances, get their first employment, and figure out what their next steps are once they leave here,” Michael Kopp, Executive Director of Elizabeth W. Murphey School, said.
“I think that a safe and affordable housing in our state is an issue, and then when you think about an 18-year-old who is just starting out in their life having the opportunity to have this type of housing is really important,” Parker said.
“They need our support and I’m not going to give up on them,” Briddell said.
While the organization is happy to announce the news of their third home, that’s not all they’re celebrating. It’ll mark their 100th Anniversary on October 22nd where they’ll have food and fun for the community at The Elizabeth W. Murphey School, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.