Cleveland non-profit helping young-adults aging out of foster care

Updated: Mar. 11, 2019 at 6:20 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Anyia Day Garrett’s death points to a region-wide problem of children living in crisis.

Now, Cleveland 19 is shedding light on people who are keeping kids safe.

Monday, we talked to a relatively new organization trying to help kids who are turning into adults. It even has a way you can get involved.

Community of Hope is hosting a gospel concert at the New Life at Calvary Church on Euclid Avenue, on Friday March 29th at 7 p.m.

Tickets cost $25 and can be purchased here.

Sonia Emerson was two when her family was split up and put in foster homes.

She says she was shuffled from family to family and was in and out of school.

“I found my own way,” she said.

And at 18, it seemed no one- not even the state- cared what she did next.

She opened up to Cleveland 19 about that painful chapter in her life.

“No young person should have to find their own way,” she said.

Emerson says a case worker dropped her off at a homeless shelter with only one garbage bag that contained her belongings.

She'll never forget how she felt.

“Like dying,” she said.

Somehow, she got through a year of homelessness.

Then, she began to meet the people she says saved her life.

She's 26 now.

Jamie Deiviney is a part of this community of women Emerson calls her "soul family."

“Sonia is so completely unusual, like no one I’ve ever met in my life," Deiviney said. “Our backgrounds are different but we’ve been connected now.”

They meet once a week.

Emerson knows she can’t change the past, but her community helps her deal with it.

She just wishes she’d met them sooner.

“It just brings me back home, and I didn’t even know that was a place that existed,” she said. “But, it’s not a place. It’s inside of you and they helped me to find that.”

Right now, Community of Hope is running nearly 30 other groups like Emerson’s, helping adults ages 19 to 29.

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