The Safety Net Mission
Safety Net supports former foster youth in their critical post-foster care years. That means helping them with the resources to stay in school, receive job training and handle minor financial emergencies when they have nowhere else to turn.
When Safety Net embarked on this journey over 10 years ago our expectations were uncertain. We knew our mission was critical for our community as a whole. The more foster kids we could reach and help get a great start in independent living, the brighter our community would be.
Fortunately, since our inception we’ve gained momentum and enlisted more people in our region to be part of our movement. We’ve garnered a great amount of resources that are now available for the foster youth, and we have a caring community to thank for that. At the onset of this journey, our community was graduating one or two children a year from any of the local colleges. To us, that was a success – because in our view, simply helping one foster kid onto the road of success was considered a win. However, this last year and a half 18 foster children graduated! This is a tremendous number, one we are extremely proud of. But it’s only a number. As we continue to build resources and gain more community support, we’ll see more results. We can certainly assess these results by looking at the numbers, but we primarily focus on the one-by-one individual lives that we are impacting.
It’s important to note that the kids do not have to be in school to get our attention. Our aim is to help them reach whatever potential lives inside of them. Kids can succeed in life by taking many paths, and we’re here to steer them toward attaining whatever it is they want out of life. We are buying bikes for transportation for homeless foster children, loading up furniture for the ones that need something in their home. Our overall impact is difficult to measure, but one thing is certain. These kids feel the love of the community that they previously couldn’t imagine existed. As we continue to provide them with both tangible and intangible support, we continue to build their level of self-esteem. And that is something that lasts a lifetime.
We have three main goals as follows:
Create an Endowment
We would love it if we eventually created an endowment in order to continue assisting these kids even when we are long gone. We want to know that Safety Net will continue in perpetuity.
Expand Our Reach
We want to fill more requests from a broader region. We know the small towns in our area have kids that need help. We also know even here in Spokane and North Idaho we are not able to serve all kids.
Find the Cracks
Not letting one child slip through the cracks. This is where our heart is. It is a difficult situation. Many of the kids we want to assist have dropped off the radar. We are striving to find ways to connect without offering assistance that would be wasted.
Safety Net is excited to announce, with the help of Pepper Smock, we have planted a North Idaho team. While this is a huge step forward in our goal of increasing our reaching, we still have more work to do. Our Idaho team is based in Coeur d’Alene and creating relationships with local and rural communities.
Safety Net is proud to be a founding member of the Network for At Risk Kids (NARK). NARK brings together leaders from local organizations who all have the common goal of helping foster involved kids in our community.