Youth Villages program helps young people transition out of fost - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Youth Villages program helps young people transition out of foster care

Justice Rutherford and her child (Source: WMC Action News 5) Justice Rutherford and her child (Source: WMC Action News 5)
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - YVLifeSet is a Youth Villages program helping young people in Tennessee as they transition out of foster care. 

Justice Rutherford is a Youth Villages success story, but the journey has not been without a few obstacles. When she turned 18, she was not prepared to live on her own. 

"I didn't even know how to do a money order," Rutherford said. 

While being enrolled in YVLifeSet, Rutherford received advice on finding housing and health care, among other things. 

Monday, Youth Villages workers, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and other political leaders celebrated Youth Villages' success and the extensive study that showed the YVLifeSet program is succeeding.

Dr. Mark Courtney conducted the study. It showed that young people receiving help from the program were more likely to succeed. 

Results from the study showed young people in the program were less likely to be homeless and unemployed, among other problems that young people face during the transition out of foster care.

"I've got my own apartment. I'm in school and taking care of my daughter, so it really has been very helpful," Rutherford said. 

She wants others to take advantage of the program as well. 

"Just like I tell my little brother -- he's 17 and he's in the program -- Stay in it, because these people are not here to hurt you or harm you; they're just here to help us," Rutherford said. 

Youth Villages officials said the goal now is to take the program nationwide. 

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