New apartments give former Louisville foster children a place to call home

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Family Scholar House has primarily focused on single-parent families since its beginning, but it has recently expanded to include young adults who have been aged out of state care.

Many of its young adults have been in the foster care system for years, and once they turned 18, they were taken out of the system.

"Whether or not you have dependents with you, you're part of the Family Scholar House family," said Thomas W. Evans, Young Adults Services Coordinator at the Family Scholar House.

Evans said the Family Scholar House opened 32 new Riverport Family Scholar House Apartments on Monday that will be filled by the end of the week with people in the Young Adults Program. In order to be eligible for the apartments, you must be in the program, work toward a college degree, maintain a 2.0 GPA, do at least four hours of community service a month and meet with Family Scholar House advisers monthly.

All of Family Scholar House's 279 apartments, including the 32 new young adult apartments, are project-based Section 8. Through the residents income, Section 8 will determine what the rent will be, which Evans said is typically about 30 percent of the resident's monthly income.

"We believe in making sure we give you support, not only academically, but also support for every other boulder that might pop up in life," Evans said.

One of the newest residents in the apartments knows about those boulders all too well. 

"When I was 13, I got put into foster care for truancy. I was taken away from my grandma," Cynthia Schepers, 22, said of her childhood. "I went through multiple homes and never ended up getting adopted."

At one point in her life, Schepers was homeless for two weeks. She said wondering where she would sleep each night was her biggest worry. Last year, she joined the Family Scholar House's Young Adult Program and was excited to learn of the new apartments. She said emotional support and housing are two very important aspects to her, and she was happy to learn the organization does just that.

On Monday, she received the keys to her apartment and opened the door for the first time into her home. The Family Scholar House apartments are furnished with kitchen appliances as well as new donated GE washer and dryers. Schepers' face lit up as she entered and inspected every inch of where she would sleep for the next couple of years.

"Having parents around is a really huge support. People take that for granted," she said. "People who like me never got to start out with parents, I was in the negative zone. They started at the starting line, and I was two miles behind. Having this support where I can have free college and cheap housing just gave me those extra two miles that I didn't start out."

The Family Scholar House aims to help these young men and women become self-sufficient and give them the family they maybe never had. Once the residents graduate college, they have 90 days to transition into new homes. The organization hopes by that time, each program participant will have the skills he or she needs to live and function outside of the Family Scholar House community.

Copyright 2018 WDRB News. All rights reserved.