A Dallas cafe is hiring young adults who have aged out of the foster care system to keep them off the streets
- La La Land Kind Cafe in Dallas, Texas, is hiring young adults who were foster children to help keep them employed after leaving the foster care system.
- Thousands of young adults age out of the foster system each year, and 20% become instantly homeless, according to the National Foster Youth Institute.
- La La Land Kind hopes to keep these young adults off the street and offer them skills they can use for life.
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A cafe in Dallas, Texas, is hiring young adults who have aged out of the foster care system in hopes of keeping them safe, employed, and off the streets.
La La Land Kind Cafe has hired nine former foster children since opening last year, and its owner, 24-year-old Francois Reihani, said his goal is to help youth learn skills they can use in the real world, he told CBS News.
Foster children usually age out of the system when they're 18, though there's no set age that marks the end of foster care. Some stay in the system until they're 21.
Across the US, about 20,000 youth age out of the foster system every year. Only half successfully gain employment, and 20% become instantly homeless, according to the National Foster Youth Institute.
More than 1,200 young adults aged out of the system in Texas last year. In hopes of keeping them off the street, Reihani has turned his cafe into a safe haven.
"We're not in the business of coffee — we're definitely in the business of kindness," Reihani told CBS News.
La La Land Kind employee Ciara Moton, 20, ran away from the foster care system when she was a teen. Last year, she was homeless and unable to hold down a job.
She told CBS Dallas-Fort Worth that working at La La Land Kind, where she was hired last year, has changed her life.
"It was mind-blowing to me, because I didn't think they would want me, you know," she told CBS DFW. "I guess that it's just the feeling of being in the foster care system… always feeling like I'm just going to be a burden to someone you know, like I'm not really meant to be anywhere, but they actually made me feel like I was meant to be here, and like a family, and they took me in."
Moton is now looking into getting her GED and pursuing higher education.
Reihani told CBS DFW that the cafe is thriving, and he's looking to open a second location.
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