Image of an empty classroom with desks.
McLaughlin emphasizes the importance of a good education.

I grew up living in Baltimore City. When I was 18, I was independently living until I turned 21 when I aged out of foster care and ended up homeless. I stayed with my friends; I received money from the state — the state where I couldn’t afford to pay my rent. This is why I ended up homeless. It was because I no longer had the assistance, I needed from the Maryland family services or anywhere else. They tried to send me to an employment program, but I needed more than employment. I needed guidance and health care.  

You need to make about $29.00 an hour to afford an apartment in D.C. and VA. Our communities should do something to help youth when they age out of foster case and may end up homeless. For instance, we should encourage young people to seek higher education instead of encouraging them toward a dead-end job. And more opportunities are needed to help them develop the skills to find relevant employment that covers the high cost of living in the area.