“The awareness of unaccompanied homeless youth is as much living in the shadows as the youth themselves” – Jay Doll, Treasurer of the Board
The History of Steadfast By Cindy Morgan, Founder / Executive Director
The history and vision of Steadfast is a very personal story involving three generations of men in my life. Inspired by my father who grew up in multiple foster care homes and my former husband who experienced homelessness throughout his high school years, I decided in 2015 to become a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Volunteer for youth in foster care.
During this time, the realization of the link between foster care and youth homelessness became increasingly evident. Within 18 months of emancipation 40-50% of foster youth become homeless. The rising concern I had for my Child In Need of Assistance (CINA), my appointed foster care youth, who at age 18 was soon to sign himself out of the system after four years of living in Residential Treatment Centers, was matched by the same concern of CASA volunteers Nancy Wilson, Margaret Gaines and Cary Plamondon for their CINA youth of similar ages. Their youth wanted out of the system also, with no family, minimal support, and no place to go. As our concerns began to rise, so did our awareness of the increasing unaccompanied homeless youth population in Frederick County and the critical need for safe and stable housing.
In 2018, with the vision firmly planted, we joined forces and together set out to formulate the framework of Steadfast. We formed a Board of Directors and in June of 2019 Steadfast was granted 501(c)(3) status. Today, with the help, hard work, dedication and generosity of an amazing group of people, we are getting our first house and will soon open our doors, bringing our mission into reality.