Affordable rental housing can be a launch pad to financial independence for young people who “age out” of foster care when they become 18. As they improve their earning capacity through education, training, and work experience, these emerging adults are better able to thrive and grow into productive adults.
Helping these young people is manageable in our community. A small number of affordable housing units will make a significant contribution to meeting the needs of the 8 to 10 young people aging out of foster care annually in our area.
26050 Chieftain Road in a rural area of Leavenworth County is owned by Lawrence resident Barbara Sabol and her sister, and has been in their family since the early 1900s. It is their vision to transform their property into a new community resource to support young people aging out of foster care to become successful adults.
As a first step, we are establishing a public walking trail on the property to connect people with nature and encourage healthy, outdoor activities. We have partnered with the Kansas Trails Council (KTC) to build and maintain the trail. With the help of volunteers, trail development is almost complete.
Next, we are planning a small community of 15 affordable housing units for emerging adults aging out of foster care. The houses will have small footprints of 250 to 400 square feet each in three clusters of five units. Professionally installed and county approved septic systems will provide onsite sewer service. The community will be served by Rural Water District 13.
A Community Manager will be responsible for property management and public trail maintenance. Residents will have support for employment, education, personal growth, and other services including transportation.