What would you do if your kid had fallen into homelessness, incarceration, or drug-dependency? That is one of the many thought-provoking questions posed by Jay MacIntosh at the Saturday, November 11th, 2019 D1 Leadership Group meeting. The focus of MacIntosh and his initiative, The Caring Village, is to engage the community in helping foster youth.
As a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) he has seen first-hand the headwinds foster youth face in moving to adulthood. Unfortunately, as Macintosh points out the challenges they face lead to a disproportionate share of problems, such as homelessness, drug-use, and unwanted pregnancies.
As a tech veteran and founder of multiple Silicon Valley start-ups, he is leveraging his tech-expertise and connections to provide the guidance and kind of support that all youth need on their journey to adulthood.
Simply, his vision is to
“Foster youth life outcomes will be at parity with the general population.”
And to do that, he and the rest of his all-volunteer team have created a way to match adults with the skills and talents that align with each youth. The beauty of his approach is that it taps into the crowd to provide wisdom and build a support network of sorts for an individual who has weak, or non-existent, family, or community ties.*
As of October 2019, this project is in the pre-launch phase of building the supply side of things with the initial launch and pilot anticipated in Q1 2020. It is easy to be part of The Village, as he is asking people to “take the caring pledge”, which isn’t a commitment of time or money but just the concept that every child is worthy of being embraced by their community.
*Bolstering Macintosh’s argument that it requires a community of caring adults, the Search Institute has found that there are 40 positive supports and strengths that young people for a successful transition to adulthood.