4KIDS Receives Grant from The Jim Moran Foundation

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Fort Lauderdale, FL – 4KIDS of South Florida was recently honored with a grant from The Jim Moran Foundation to directly impact youth aging out of the child welfare system across South Florida. 4KIDS’ Spirit of Success Institute (SOSI) is a transitional independent living program designed for young men and women (ages 18 to 23) who have aged out of foster care. This generous grant of $75,000 will provide advanced services to these young men and women in addition to boosting the program’s overall impact on this demographic.

In 2005, 4KIDS started the first transitional independent living program, SOSI, in Broward County that offered housing to youth who aged out of the dependency system. Since then, 160 young men and women have been a part of SOSI’s residential program. Because of SOSI, residents are not only offered housing, but are given tools and resources to excel academically, professionally, and individually as they work toward achieving successful, independent lives.

The Jim Moran Foundation’s grant will provide necessary funds for a new case manager who will work with each SOSI resident to set and achieve individual goals. The case manager will also meet with residents weekly, evaluate progress, and provide the resources and guidance needed for success and ultimately independent living.

In addition, The Jim Moran Foundation’s grant funds additional areas including general operating and maintenance costs for our four SOSI homes, and provides support for residents, allowing an overall extended reach of SOSI.

SOSI not only breaks cycles of abuse, homelessness, and unemployment in the lives of young men and women but also encourages community involvement to help others. Many SOSI graduates not only move on to professional careers, but many have entered the child welfare system as caregivers and advocates for youth in need in our community.

One of the very first SOSI residents, Mez Pierre, now works at SafePlace 4KIDS, a 24/7 emergency intake center for children removed from their homes in Broward County. He recently reflected on his experience at SOSI, “If you had said to me when I had first aged out of foster care that one day I would be married with children, feeding my family, taking care of them, and keeping them happy, I would have said that is impossible. That just didn’t happen in my world. I am so blessed to have had 4KIDS and all these people by my side to help me through life. If you hadn’t been there for me, I would probably be in jail. I would be another statistic.”

4KIDS is thankful to The Jim Moran Foundation for seeing the potential in youth aging out of the child welfare system. Because of their grant, 4KIDS Spirit of Success Institute will have a greater impact on young men and women in our community. 4KIDS looks forward to reporting the added success experienced as a result of The Jim Moran Foundation.

About 4KIDS of South Florida

4KIDS of South Florida has been serving the community for over 18 years as a registered 501(c) 3.

They work to provide hope and homes to children in crisis. 4KIDS utilizes a unique continuum of care, beginning with children first removed from their homes, to young adults aging out of the foster care system.

About The Jim Moran Foundation

Founded by automotive pioneer Jim Moran, the mission of The Jim Moran Foundation is to improve the quality of life for the youth and families of Florida through the support of innovative programs and opportunities that meet the ever-changing needs of the community. The Foundation has invested nearly $60 million in education, elder care, family strengthening, and youth transitional living initiatives since its inception in 2000 with efforts currently focused in Broward, Palm Beach and Duval counties. Through a long-term Grant Agreement, The Foundation's significant funders are JM Family Enterprises, Inc., and its subsidiaries, including Southeast Toyota Distributors, LLC. It is located at 100 Jim Moran Blvd., Deerfield Beach, Fla. 33442. To learn more, visit www.jimmoranfoundation.org or call (954) 429-2122.