As we close out the first quarter of our New Year, we want to take a moment to thank you for your ongoing support of Unfaulted. At the end of such a crazy year, in the midst of a pandemic, we saw God move in BIG ways! With 5 active young women in the program, they have come from just about every situation imaginable: off the streets, aging out of foster care, and being trafficked. Unfaulted was able to get these young women into safe and sustainable living situations where they have been able to focus on bettering themselves and changing the trajectory of their lives. One of our young ladies shared that before she came across Unfaulted, she had seriously considered placing her now almost-two-year-old daughter up for adoption. She was heartbroken but knew without the support of the community and a family, she couldn’t provide what her daughter needed. We are ecstatic to report that because of the resources found through Unfaulted, they are still together, and both now thriving and happy!
We (Angela and Carin) spent the beginning of 2020 sitting down and talking to other organizations, as well as youth that had, themselves, aged out. In speaking with organizations, we asked “What worked? What didn’t?” We took copious amounts of notes and were always left with work to do and another connection made. We saw God putting us in front of individuals with more education and more wisdom on this subject and we always left with a phone call to make and another meeting. In speaking with those who had aged out, we sat down and inquired, “What did you need at that time?” These conversations of youth that had experienced our broken system helped us to gain a clearer vision of what would be beneficial for our participants and shaped so much of our program. For example, we cannot teach our participants to balance a checkbook when they don’t have an income or a Driver’s License to get them to and from a job. We must start with the basic needs and gradually build upon them in order for our young woman to experience a smooth transition into adulthood. Once the young women have their basic needs met, they meet together regularly to take our Life Skills classes which teach crucial skills for their growth to become independent and successful. Life Skills classes teach budgeting, resume writing, interview etiquette, spiritual health, and many other vital skills.
We currently have 22 volunteers. Some of you have joined us on this journey by not only donating but also jumping in and volunteering with us. But for those of you that haven’t, you might not know what it means to volunteer with Unfaulted. Every Unfaulted volunteer completes orientation, trauma-informed training, and ongoing training to ensure they are well equipped to volunteer with us. We know that our young women have faced abandonment and it is our goal to protect them, thus making it a requirement to volunteer for so many hours before they are ever trusted to be in a relationship with a young woman.
Our social media presence is growing. It’s always fun to look at the numbers in relation to social media, but more importantly, we see it as one more person being made aware of a terrible issue. The more we get the word out about youth aging out of foster care, the more voices there are to advocate for these young adults who need a voice. Angela Lippens, our Founder, was interviewed on two podcasts and was awarded a HomeTown Hero award. News is spreading fast!
We have had so many wins along the way. On the hard days we really do hold tightly to every single one because, in this line of work, the truth of the matter is, there will be lots of hard days. Our participants are beginning the process of healing, some are working for the first time, and all of them are entering into a healthy community so there are many growing pains to be expected. But seeing our young women sitting in church service on Sundays with each other or with their families reminds us that none of this is because of any one of us…it’s solely thanks to God.
So where are we going in 2021? We are entering into the new year with new streamlined policies and procedures, some programming changes to implement, and most exciting: welcoming new young women into the Unfaulted Family. $124,000 was raised in 2020! That means, 10 young women are able to go through Unfaulted and be well on their way to being a successful, independent adult.
Since we began this journey in 2019, we have worked with 10 young women. While some have chosen to walk away, we were blessed to have met each one of them. They trusted us with their stories, their hearts, and some with their own children. The weight of what they have carried is heavy and heartbreaking, but being able to walk alongside them at whatever stage of life they are currently in has been such a blessing to our team. These young women have endured every type of abuse and yet they stand, ready to give community and relationships another chance. They have been labeled “incapable” and yet they are setting goals and crushing them. They have been told no family would ever want them and yet they now have a Forever Family to spend holidays, birthdays, and Sunday dinners with. Your donation, big or small, made that possible. We hope that you will join Unfaulted in 2021 to continue the work the Lord has set before us and not only care for this forgotten piece of society but love them where they are and show them they are capable of anything.
All the best in 2021!
Carin & Anglea