Homelessness is a very serious problem concerning youth in foster care and low economic communities due to the fact that many youth do not have the education, basic living skills, and support systems needed when exiting the foster care system. Many times the youth does not take advantage of the resources available or do not have transportation to get to needed resources. There are not enough support systems such as mentors, job placement for teens, community outreach programs, network systems for success and caring people to help youth with stable housing after the foster care system. In addition, the challenge also is community awareness concerning the vast number of youth who do become homeless. Although, there are services in place to assist the youth; there are far too many youth still not being reached before the age of 21. Therefore, Youth Towers strives to ensure that disadvantaged Birmingham young people become economically secure through a continuum of care that promotes a positive and productive outcome.
Youth Towers is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that was formed in August 2011 to take preventative action against young homelessness in the Birmingham, Alabama metropolitan area. Once the young adult exits foster care, there is a high-risk that he or she may become part of the homeless youth population. Youth Towers targets individuals aged 19 to 26 years old and works to help them stay off the streets and to become productive members of the Birmingham community.
Youth Towers was founded by Alice Westery in August 2011. Youth Towers works directly with the homeless and high risk youth ages 19-26 in street outreach and at the Youth Towers Community Continuum in the Pratt City Area. Youth Towers assists young people 19-26 with basic living skills training, public bus passes, utility assistance, food, interview, clothing, hygiene, mentors, emergency hotel stay, Chief in Training Project, and many other basic living resources. Young people that are homeless, and those who are at risk of being homeless complete an assessment at 601 19 Street North, Birmingham AL 35203 (Youth Towers Downtown Office) in order to determine the best practice for the youth.