BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The founder of Fostering Greatness Inc. hopes the city of Buffalo would consider investing in foster care youth and alumni by using a portion of the $330 million American Rescue Plan funds.
"Before COVID happened, there was a housing issue for foster care youth and alumni," says Leah Angel Daniel, founder of Fostering Greatness Inc. "So some of that money I believe should go towards this particular population because they have suffered."
The City of Buffalo received approximately $330 million, of which the common council already agreed to a proposed amount of where percentages will go.
"That is a fluid amount that could change with the agreement with both the administration and the council," says Darius Pridgen, president of Common Council. "Some of those areas are revenue replacement, economic effects which could be anything from assisting small businesses all the way down to training."
Mrs. Daniel says the foster care system continues to be unsteady since many social workers continue to leave, which puts the youth into survival mode. That's why she hopes the city considers investing in the foster care system.
"It's not going to only help them, it'll help the city," Daniel says. "It'll help take down the crime rate, it'll help produce more people who would be able to apply and sustain employment here, so it's an investment for the entire city. I just want people to know this population is suffering."
The common council president explains if it's possible for the investment.
"Foster care in itself is not a city function is a county function, and so in that area, I'm not going to say we're not or wouldn't," Mr. Pridgen says. "I think that everything is on the table right now depending on how they were affected during the pandemic."
Now, is the money out there?
"It's already out on the street. I'm not sure the exact number, but the council will work closely with the administration to move this money as quickly as possible," Mr. Pridgen says. "One of the reasons why the federal government put this out was to help the economy and was to help those living in disproportionate neighborhoods. We want to make sure it's done legally."
Mrs. Daniel hopes no youth in the foster care system gets left behind.
"We need to regain some hope, and we need to regain some resources for them," she says. "We hope to move forward with that."