A nonprofit in southeast Texas is turning a former nursing home into about 25 transitional apartments for kids aging out of foster care.
Unlimited Potential, based in Bryan, plans to buy the vacant six-wing facility with the help of a loan of up to $3 million from the city of College Station, which is roughly equidistant from Austin, Dallas and Houston. Then the agency will begin raising money to complete the renovations.
The units would be available to youth 18 to 25, as they age out of the foster care system and begin to build an independent life.
“A lot of times when people age out of the foster care system, they don’t have anywhere else to go or they don’t have the support systems in place that they need,” Ted Randall, board president of Unlimited Potential, told KBTX TV news.
No one has to tell that to 19-year-old Markayvia Elmore, an Unlimited Potential client who might one day find himself living in the facility.
“I’ve been homeless for so long, been looking for shelter for so long, so when [Unlimited Potential] was able to help out it’s pretty good,” Elmore said.
The plan is for the facility to provide residents the privacy of their own and a place to study or learn work skills, Randall said. Eventually, they would have to move out.
Since January 2020, Unlimited Potential has helped out 20 young people, but after the College Station housing is built — with the acceptance of the public a crucial point — the city plans to look for new opportunities to help the region’s vulnerable young people, said Debbie Eller, the city’s director of community services.