Pinellas Co. is 'Ready for Life'

By Cait McVey, Reporter
Last Updated: Thursday, June 23, 2016, 7:45 PM EDT

For many who age out of the foster system in Pinellas County, their 18th birthday means they're officially on their own. 

Ready for Life, Inc., is trying to change that though -- one youth at a time.

  • Ready for Life, Inc. opened "Hope House" with the county
  • Six young homeless men will be given a safe, clean place to live
  • Advisor Greg Belcher says he hopes to be a steady, "lifelong" influence

The non-profit organization teamed up with the Pinellas County Housing Authority to open their “Hope House.”

The Largo home will provide a roof over the heads of six young men, all left homeless after aging out of the foster care system at 18-years-old.

“It takes a lot of the pressure off,” said 23-year-old Moses Blanks. “That’s one less thing I have to worry about out of the thousand worries that I do have.”

Banks has struggled with homelessness for the last five years. Before aging out of the system, he had bounced between 30 foster homes. Now, Banks says seeking employment can be a top priority.

The home’s resident advisor, and Banks' new roommate, is also a former foster child. Now 40-years-old, Greg Belcher is hoping to offer guidance and encouragement.

“I’m hoping to be a lifelong person in their lives and help them understand I’m always there for them,” Belcher said. “Because that’s one of the things I didn’t have.”

For more information on Ready for Life, Inc. and upcoming fundraising events, visit ReadyForLifePinellas.org.