Hearts of Yolo: Make It Happen Yolo

Thursday, Jun 21, 2018

Make It Happen for Yolo County is an incredible story about caring people who came together to fill a need and are now making an impact on the lives of many transitional aged foster youth.

 Jan Judson, a nurse practitioner has always felt called to help foster youth. “I would have foster youth come see me and sometimes medical records could not be located. There was also a real sense of loneliness in their lives and it inspired me to get more involved in helping them.”

In 2014, while Jan was volunteering with the California Youth Connection, a youth-led organization that develops leaders who empower each other and their communities to transform the foster care system through legislative, policy, and practice change, she met Elliot Jones (link to his profile), who started Make it Happen for Yolo County when he realized that transitional aged foster youth had no resources to furnish their first independent living place.

Make it Happen for Yolo County’s mission is to provide household furnishings to transitional aged foster youth who are moving into an independent living situation for the first time. Through connections in the Davis community, the organization has found storage and received many donations of furniture and household appliances. Jan states, “Elliot started this by storing everything in his garage. Now we have centralized storage and the donations keep coming in. The community has been incredibly gracious.”

Board member Erin Montgomery states similar sentiments, “I think that when a foster youth is transitioning to adult life, securing and maintaining housing is an extremely fragile process.  What moved me to volunteer and join the Board of Directors of Make it Happen, is that the mission is to help foster youth transition by giving them the items that makes their house feel like a home so that they feel supported by their community.  The goal is to provide items that are not provided by any other organization or agency, which allows the youth to spend the money on other necessities in their life. My personal hope is that with this community support, they can maintain their housing for the long term, as this population is at high risk of becoming homeless.”

Make it Happen for Yolo County works closely with CASA volunteers and social workers. Tracy Fauver, executive director of Yolo County CASA states, “No other organization in Yolo County focuses solely on furnishings and living supplies yet it’s a huge need among our transitional aged foster youth. We are extremely grateful for this passionate group of people.”

For more information about Make it Happen for Yolo County and to see how you can help, please go to:  https://www.mihyolo.org/

For technical questions and comments regarding this website,
please contact the Webmaster.