Challengers Independent Living, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing independent life-skills services to teens and young adults who are living in long-term foster care.
OUR PURPOSE is to provide our youth participants between the ages of 15 - 21 with the opportunity to learn and practice independent living skills so that they are fully prepared to age out of the foster care system and enter adulthood on the right path for success.
OUR VISION is for all of our youth participants to age out of the foster care system as educated and self-sufficient young adults; to prevent them from a life of crime and/or homelessness; to help them manage or overcome any mental, behavioral and/or psychological issues; and, to ensure that each young adult is gainfully employed and ultimately not dependent upon already overburdened federal and state government assistance programs.
"564,708 people in the U.S. are homeless today.
Approximately 380,000 of those people are youths under the age of 18."
— Social Solutions
2016 Report on Homelessness in the USA
OUR MISSION IS TO END
YOUTH HOMELESSNESS IN MARYLAND
Challengers provides clinical support, vocational training, independent life skills training, and home-life support services to foster care youth in a safe and nurturing environment. We prepare our youth for a positive and productive, self-sufficient lifestyle after discharge (i.e., "aging out") from foster care. Our educational training programs & comprehensive, multi-tiered services prevent the likelihood that Maryland's foster care youth will fall victim to homelessness, substance abuse, crime, domestic violence and/or child abuse.
Challengers administers its programs through a Continuum of Care. We know that there is a population in Maryland’s foster care system that unfortunately are not ready to live self-sufficiently. Of this population, chances for adoption or reunification are less than 10%. If this population must live self-sufficiently, our model suggests that the teaching and learning process must begin immediately.
We strive to reduce the rate of young adults who are discharged from foster care programs ill-equipped and unable to deal with life's challenges; we do this by focusing our efforts on preparing them for independent living.
OUR GOAL is to successfully complete fast-paced, multi-tiered, age-level appropriate training modules and counseling sessions with each of our youth participants in order to equip each one with the life-skills necessary to avoid the statistical probability of becoming unemployed, homeless and/or incarcerated adults.
With collaborative efforts from our staff, board of directors, partners, and local, state and government agencies, we are confident that we will continue to achieve positive outcomes with foster care youth in Maryland by preventing unemployment, homelessness and mass incarceration of young adults.