This is Dasha.
I met Dasha when I was on a mission trip with my church.
Currently her government only supports orphans until they reach 15 or 16 years old. There are no resources for a child once they turn 16. It’s nearly impossible to get a full time job until 18. Orphan girls are left to fend for themselves on the street and are often trafficked.
I didn't know Dasha was an orphan when I met her. I just knew she was a friendly teen who was volunteering to help run the summer camp at the local church.
Dasha lived at a place called the Oak House. The Oak House was established to provide young women with safe places live while they transition into adulthood.
Dasha and the other girls I met from the Oak House gave me a picture of the kind of hope having a place like the Oak House can provide.
Her story testifies to the powerful impact that love, support, and community can have on the trajectory of kids like Dasha.
It gave me the motivation to step out in faith to start Finally Family Homes.
I met Dasha July 18th 2017. Finally Family Homes was founded Sept 7th 2017.
Hi! I'm Christina Dronen. My husband, Eric Dronen and I are the founders of Finally Family Homes.
I thought a good place to start on our blog would be to share how we got started! Finally Family Homes is our vision for helping kids who are aging out of the foster care system without ever having found a family or home. We chose to establish it in Santa Clarita, CA because we think it’s the best location to start helping house and mentor the foster kids who are aging out of foster care.
The idea started a little over 2 years ago...
Our church, Pacific Crossroads, had been talking about the homeless population in Los Angeles, which has gotten worse in recent years.
There are now over 50,000 homeless in LA, nearly 40,000 of those are unsheltered.
Summer of 2017 I went on the mission trip to Kyrgyzstan with my church.
Our primary work was to help the Kyrgyz church run a local kids camp. With less than 1% of the people there being Christian, helping hands are much needed to help serve the hundreds of kids who attend and to encourage the local church.
One of the ministries of this church is to care for the local orphans who have aged out of the system there.
The pastor of the Kyrgyz church was moved to start what is now called Oak House after a little girl at the local orphanage asked “Is it true that when we leave here, the boys will go to jail and the girls will become prostitutes?”
Sadly, being dumped from the orphanages at 16, it is most often true.
Hi, I'm Christina Dronen, co-founder of Finally Family Homes. On this blog we focus on helping caregivers & teens learn what they need to be successful, thriving, independent adults with a little fun mixed in.