After spending time in a detention center, 18-year-old Ralph Gray thought he had nowhere to go. But, at the suggestion of a caseworker, he entered the Austin Children Shelter’s emergency care center and joined the Transitional Living program, which serves youths (up to age 22) who are aging out of the foster care system. Before coming to ACS, Ralph never had an ID, birth certificate, bank account or job. Now, he’s attending an AmeriCorps job training program, works at McDonalds on the weekend, and is on track to go to college. He believes entering the shelter was the best decision he’s ever made. Caseworkers say his progress is typical of anyone who stays at the shelter for 10 days or more.
We visited Austin Children’s Shelter to hear what Ralph, the TLP team manager, and the shelter’s CEO each to learn how ACS has been changing children’s lives for 27 years. Watch the video to see what they said.