DCFS Formally Present Proceeds from the First Annual Race For Home

Posted on

Deonna Kirkpatrick: (216) 432-3342; deonna.kirkpatrick@jfs.ohio.gov

Nearly $6,000 raised to help fight homelessness for youth who age out of foster care

CLEVELAND, OH – Today, Cuyahoga County Division of Children and Family Services (DCFS)formally presented proceeds from the first ever Race For Home 5K Run /1Mile Walk held this summer to raise awareness of the need for foster and adoptive parents. 

During the special check presentation organizers, sponsors and agency stakeholders joined to celebrate Race For Home raising $5,954 to benefit A Place 4 Me, a project of the YWCA of Greater Cleveland aimed at helping homeless youth who age out of foster care.

“Unfortunately about 120 teens age-out of foster care every year without a family,” said Cynthia Weiskittel, Director of Cuyahoga County Division of Children and Family Services.  “We need more committed foster and adoptive parents to make sure this doesn’t happen.  And we need projects like A Place 4 Me to help make sure our teens aren’t homeless if they do age out of foster care.”

Race For Home was organized and sponsored by the Cuyahoga County Division of Children and Family Services along with the Council of Neighborhood Leaders, a coalition of 14 neighborhood collaboratives that work with families across northeast Ohio.  The race gathered 523 runners and walkers at Edgewater Park for the inaugural event.

“The 14 Family-to-Family Neighborhood Collaboratives have been partnering with the Division of Children and Family Services for over twenty years”, said Council of Neighborhood Leaders Director, Jillian Svala.  “We were thrilled to be a part of the first annual "Race for a Home" to raise awareness around this topic and to remind all of our neighbors that no child should be left without the safety and security of a stable home and a loving family in the neighborhood they have always known.”

“I am so grateful that A Place 4 Me was the designation of funds from the first annual A Race For Home,” said Project Director Kate Lodge. “Flexible resources are needed for young adults that are on their own without a family to help them.  Often, when a young adult makes a minor mistake, with no family support that “mistake” can result in homelessness.    There is no wiggle room for these young people.  Race for Home funds will contribute to our response to preventing and ending youth homelessness in this county.”

A Place 4 Me is a leading partner in the Cleveland/Cuyahoga County 100 Day Challenge which is committed to finding housing for 100 homeless youth in 100 days. 

The check presentation was part of a breakfast for The Open Table -a group mentoring model focused on helping youth who age out of foster care form supportive and lasting relationships in the community.