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We've been following the work of Jeff and his wife for a while.  They founded Kids Belong as they learned about their calling to foster and adopt, as well as have a family of their own.  Over the years, the estimate is that somewhere about 80-90 kids have been through their home....some for a short time, others to stay for good.  The level of dedication and devotion to those who they have been blessed to bring home has been a staggering amount of love in action and with their extensive experience in the fostering and adoption system, they found a gap that needed to be addressed.  How to help a young person aging out of foster care.  It's a pivotal moment in a life.



Some in foster care age out without much practical life skill with them. More in foster care age out without things like an established credit record or a rental history.  Imagine that you are that young of age and that all of the are on your own?  This is the gap that Jeff saw and decided he would get to work on with First Place.  It's a program to slowly, and deliberately walk young people into the responsibility of independent living in a way that is not an all in one blast of reality with no way of proving that you are ready.

Duplexes have been build just outside Jeff's home where the family and fosters live.  Each duplex is for a single person.  The rent begins low and gradually increases as time goes by helping young people ease into the idea of the costs of living.  The utilities are switched over in time to help establish credit and payment history and there are mentors to help young people learn to manage budgets, households, responsibility and routine.  The idea of jumping off the high dive if you're standing there applies in some situations, but strolling in to adulthood in todays day and age takes a little guidance. 

The fist two duplexes are up and operating!  Construction is underway on the next phase and we're so proud to be able to help with a little financial assistance and awareness with Tabono Law and Scherdel Sales and Manufacturing.  The outpouring of good that has come from the Steele family and effected the lives of so many has not only been recognized by us a couple of times, they were awarded the Fox 17 Pay if Forward award in 2023 as well.  Imagine if this word continued to spread and the movement grew?  This my friends, is a miracle unfolding.  We thank the Steele family for letting us share it with you.   

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Tabono Law Muskegon Channel Fall 2023


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