First Place for Youth

First Place for Youth

First Place for Youth helps foster youth in California find a safe place to live, continue their education, and get their first job.

It uses a nationally recognized model to provide some of California’s most vulnerable young people with the tools they need to reach their full potential in school, work and life. 


EMCF invested $3.7 million in First Place for Youth (First Place) from 2008 to 2014. This investment helped it complete a theory of change process and strengthen its supports for foster youth by providing assistance with employment and education in addition to housing. From 2010 to 2014, it more than doubled, to 988, the number of youth its core program served, while increasing annual revenue by 94 percent to $15.5 million.

First Place also completed a formative evaluation and developed plans to prepare for future third-party evaluation. Our investment also supported two business planning engagements. The first led to First Place’s expansion from the San Francisco Bay area to Los Angeles in 2010 and continued efforts to extend foster care to age 21 in California through state legislation. The second helped First Place plan for implementing that legislation, the Fostering Connections Act, after its passage, and assess growth opportunities within and outside California.


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