This video you MUST watch to the end. Normally, after I ask someone for their 3 wishes – we end. But Brion didn’t want any wishes, and when he started to explain why, he opened up about his childhood and growing up in foster care.
Brion got back from the army after being discharged for health reasons. His mom asked him for his money so she could buy drugs. When Brion said no, his mother went to the police to have him removed from her apartment.
Brion is a homeless youth in Pittsburgh. Some nights it was safer to stay up all night then to fall asleep and become vulnerable.
At around 3 minutes in to this video, Brion shares candidly about the problem of putting a child into different foster care placements. Brion was placed into his first foster home at 9, and says he was in 13 placements until he aged out at 18. Now at age 20, Brion says everyone who grows up with that much inconsistency becomes a product of the “system”!
Sadly, Brion’s story is very common. According to California Progress Report, 65% of youth in foster care emancipate without a place to live. 40% of persons living in homeless shelters are former foster children. A similarly disproportionate percentage of the nation’s prison population is comprised of former foster youth. Less than 3% go to college and 51% are unemployed.
The good news is that although the story of a broken foster care system is common, young men like Brion are not. I cannot predict the future, but I can almost guarantee Brion is going to put all the madness behind him and have an amazing life!
Very special thanks to Family Links.
This Invisible People road trip is made possible by Sevenly and Virgin Mobile USA, who are partnering to end youth homelessness through Virgin Mobile USA’s initiative, RE*Generation. For more information please click here.