• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m 6s

Transitional home seeks to bridge the gap for foster care youth

By Kirsten Swann 8:26 PM November 6, 2013

Anchorage non-profit spearheads independent living project for men ages 18-21

ANCHORAGE – For Alaskan social workers, it’s a familiar cycle.

Teens bounce between different foster homes, drop out of school, get into trouble and end up at McLaughlin Youth Center or another local juvenile detention center. When they turn 18, the game changes.

“It’s not McLaughlin anymore, it’s the big boy’s house,” said Jeudy Dorzion, who works for the Anchorage non-profit Changing Faces, Inc. “We’re here to try to bridge that gap.”

Dorzion’s organization is working to open a transitional living home in East Anchorage for men ages 18-21. The two-story house on Tudor Road would provide a home base for ten men and boys working to move out of the foster care system: They’d receive counseling, career guidance, educational support and basic life skills training necessary to live independently.

As of October, the Office of Children’s Services reports there were more than 2,000 youth circulating through Alaska’s foster care system. The majority of them were male, and 70 were 18 or older.

Patricia Johnson, Changing Faces’ CEO and founder, said her organization was working with OCS to fill a major need within Alaska’s foster care system.

“They had a lot of males on their waiting list that were hard to place,” she said.

Once the transitional home receives the final licenses necessary to open its doors, Johnson said the facility could present a life-changing opportunity for Alaskan youth.

The home is almost ready.

Each bedroom is outfitted in blues and greens, and the downstairs common area features overstuffed couches and a widescreen TV. Johnson said Changing Faces is still seeking donations to finish furnishing the home, and volunteers to mentor the young men who will live there. An open house is scheduled for Nov. 26 from 6-7 p.m at the home at 3201 E. Tudor Rd., and Johnson said the facility hopes to take in residents by December.

Dorzion said the work is a labor of love. She had been adopted at a young age after her own parents were murdered, and she said she’d developed a passion for helping other children facing similar situations.

“I’ve seen the cycle,” she said.

Through Changing Faces, Dorzion said she and Johnson clung to the idea of community involvement. It takes a village to raise a child, they said, and they envisioned the transitional home as a place for the Anchorage community to help lift up the youth who’d fallen through the cracks of the foster care system.

“We’re just trying to help however we can,” she said.

Latest Stories

  • News

    After Chester Creek trail attack, Anchorage residents raise safety concerns

    by Bonney Bowman on Mar 30, 19:09

    A weekend attack is raising concerns about safety on Anchorage’s trails. A woman was stabbed on Chester Creek Trail Sunday afternoon. The victim told officers from the Anchorage Police Department that she was texting and walking near the Northern Lights Boulevard overpass when someone came up behind her, knocked her out, stabbed her and went through […]

  • News

    Coast Guard rescues sick mariner near Cold Bay

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Mar 30, 18:30

    A helicopter from the U.S. Coast Guard Air Station in Kodiak medevaced a fisherman with severe abdominal pains from a ship 30 miles south of Cold Bay on Sunday. The chopper and a Coast Guard cutter happened to be in the area as part of a continuous Bering Sea patrol mission when guard watchstanders received […]

  • Crime

    Fairbanks PD: Man arrested for DUI after crashing vehicle, stealing forklift

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Mar 30, 17:54

    A Delta Junction man was arrested Monday after crashing his vehicle along Phillips Field Road, then swiping a forklift to try and free his vehicle. His breath alcohol level was .230 — nearly three times the legal limit, according to a release from the Fairbanks Police Department. Police have identified the subject as Aleksandr Glushko. […]

  • Lifestyle

    Endangered beluga whale population sees slight increase in 2014

    by Hope Miller on Mar 30, 15:47

    An endangered beluga whale population saw a slight increase in 2014, but researchers say it’s not a significant jump. The 2014 Cook Inlet beluga population estimate is 340 whales, an increase from 2012 when the population was roughly 312, according to a release from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. They were first listed as […]

  • Politics

    Bill to decriminalize marijuana clears the Senate

    by Rhonda McBride on Mar 30, 14:31

    A bill to decriminalize marijuana cleared the state Senate Monday by a 17 to 3 margin. Senate Bill 30 has gone through various permutations, seesawing between taking pot off the state’s list of controlled substances to putting it back on. Opponents to the bill, three Democrats, said the legislation did not comply with the spirit […]

  • Anchorage Centennial

    Documentary charts Anchorage’s growth over past 100 years

    by Daybreak Staff on Mar 30, 11:20

    In the past 100 years Anchorage has grown from what was first a tent city to what we now call home. Documentary filmmaker Todd Hardesty joined Daybreak Monday to talk about how he’s helping tell the city’s story with a film called “Anchorage Is…” Hardesty was tasked with covering the 100-year period while also touching […]

  • On-Air

    Teacher of the Week: Royce Zometsky

    by James Gaddis on Mar 30, 10:06

    Building relationships is the key to success for Clark Middle School educator Royce Zometsky. The eighth-grade science teacher was named KTVA 11’s Teacher of the Week Monday morning on Daybreak. “Getting to know them, so it doesn’t seem that they’re just coming in, I’m just going through a routine on a daily basis,” Zometsky said. […]

  • Politics

    Low-income workers say Medicaid expansion would help

    by Rhonda McBride on Mar 30, 9:14

    The House Health and Social Services Committee heard from a number of working Alaskans who fall in the Medicaid coverage gap. The committee took several hours of testimony on Saturday on House Bill 148, legislation to reform and expand Medicaid, introduced by Gov. Bill Walker. Most of those who weighed in said they support Medicaid […]