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Young women aging out of foster care learn life skills creating a better future

Posted at 7:28 PM, Jul 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-05 14:05:09-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — “I came with nothing, I didn't have any food or anything,” said Jubilee Jones.

At 22-years-old with 8-month-old twins and running from domestic abuse, Jubilee Jones made the lifesaving move to seek shelter and support from this mother figure.

“When Anderson came into your life, what did it do for you as to where you are right now?” asked WXYZ’s Glenda Lewis.

“I want to say love and support because I get a lot of that here even when it's not directed toward me, and it's directed toward my babies. They look out for you,” said Jones.

Carolyn Key considers all the young women she takes in her extended family. She created this home called Anderson Life Development Center, where these young mothers can develop the skills, they need to create a better life for themselves and their children.

“These are young girls who have been in the system almost all of their lives and then they have young children as well, but you know somehow we did not give them what they needed to go on and when they turned 18, they did not know what to do or where to go,” explains Carolyn Key.

“How long do they stay?” asked Glenda.

“I don't give them a time period to stay but one criteria of living here is that you have to be actively seeking employment or school,” said Key. “It's not a place where you come and watch TV you got to want this more than I want it for you.”

“So, when they walk out of this door, they have core values about themselves. They have jobs where they can sustain their living and they have GED high school diploma, higher education if they want to go and cars and stuff so when they leave here, they can stay gone. We want to break the cycle,” Key added.

“I want them to be safe. I don't have no other desires other than to make sure that they are safe and have what they need,” said Jones.

“That's a major part of maturity, knowing what's worth your time,” said Glenda when talking to Jubilee.

“We're helping them, for the vision, for the plan,” said Keys.

Ali Kareem just bought the building Anderson Life Development Center is in. Also, the school and church next door. He's hoping to expand the help by seeking a partnership with a local nonprofit.

“We are willing to reach out to the community to see what's best for the community, not for the business,” said Ali Kareem.

He’s actually looking for a nonprofit organization to have a long-term relationship here.

“It could be school looking for any idea from the community here to support it," said Kareem.

“What do you want to do with your life what do you want to do what's your dream?” asked Glenda.

“I wanna be a nurse. I've always wanted to work in the medical field and one more test before I'm completely certified and I will be a CNA,” said Jones. “I just know I want to help people.”

“I could do this, channel 7,” Jones imitates being a reporter.

Yes, you can do anything,” Glenda says to Jones.

“Just don't give up on them don't give up,” said Keys. "We just need to encourage them, empower them, and give them a little bit of our knowledge and they'll be okay.”

If you can help, a Go Fund Me has been established for donations.