ECHO PARK (CBSLA.com) — One of the toughest challenges facing young adults in foster care is transitioning to life on their own.
Starting Monday, there’s a place in Echo Park where emancipated youth can go for help.
The Freedom House has just opened its doors in Echo Park at 2301 Bellevue Ave., just a few miles from Downtown Los Angeles.
“This is awesome, just to be here and just to say this is mine,” resident Nolan Crawford said.
Crawford is a high school dropout who was living under a bridge in Temecula: “I was doing methamphetamines and heroine.”
The 18-year-old said things got so bad that he attempted suicide.
He’s since found a fresh start at The Freedom House.
With a 60-bed dormitory, the center provides many young people living on the streets a stable place to rest their heads at night.
And during the day, the Freedom House is dedicated to empowering its residents with education opportunities and employment training.
The facility was made possible by The Dream Center, Kingdom Connection Partners and Jentezen Franklin Media.
The Dream Center is faith-based and privately funded. Pastor Jentezen Franklin’s Orange County church is also helping pick up the tab.
“We can provide resources. I can’t do the other things that they do here so well: the programs, the facility,” Franklin said.
And Crawford said those resources have changed his life; he’s interviewing for jobs and going back to school.
“When you walk out this door about a year and a half from now, what do you envision for yourself,” CBS2/KCAL9 reporter Greg Mills said.
Crawford responded: “A new life.”