2. The John Burton Foundation for Children Without Homes (JBF) was
founded in 2004 when California State Senator John Burton retired after
30 years in elected office. Throughout his public service career he has
been an advocate of society’s most vulnerable citizens.
The JBF provides a new venue to channel John’s passion for public
service and leverage his political expertise. As a Senator working with
nonprofits that help at-risk and foster youth, Burton learned how
severe the challenges that these kids face really are. He established JBF
to give a voice to those who have none.
In 2009 the number of homeless children in California ballooned to
292,624, or one child out of every 34. There are 68,000 youth in foster
care and last year alone 5,393 were emancipated because they turned
age 18. At the same time, unfortunately, the availability of funds for
programs that support these youth is decreasing. We need your help
now to help these kids achieve their dreams.
Knowing that 40% of homeless shelter
residents are former foster care youth,
I am continually astounded and inspired by
those who stay in school, find a place to live
and avoid the pitfalls of drugs and crime.
The least we can do is reward their efforts
and give them a little bit of help so that
they can achieve their full potential.
— John Burton
Former President Pro Tempore of
the California State Senate
Founder, The John Burton Foundation
3. Through donations and grants, JBF helps homeless, foster, and former
foster youth obtain essential education and healthcare. It also seeks to
fill gaps in their basic needs: food, clothing, housing, transportation, and
emotional support. The odds are stacked against at-risk youth and JBF
seeks to support them in achieving their full potential.
JBF’s accomplishments have far exceeded expectations and include:
granting over $3.08 million to 128 nonprofits throughout California,
giving gift cards for school clothes and supplies to over 2,600 former
foster youth attending college, and leading the way to pass key pieces of
legislation that provide these youth with a fair chance at leading healthy
and productive lives.
4. Homeless Children
Homelessness often causes severe trauma to children by disrupting
relationships and putting their health and safety at risk. Homeless youth
have shorter and less healthy lives, and they are likely to pass on to their
own children the diminished opportunities that accompany poverty.
• They are twice as likely to be held back, or to drop out of school
• They move many times during a school year and each move may
make them fall behind academically.
• Almost half of all homeless children suffer from anxiety and
• Fewer than 25 percent of homeless kids graduate from high school.
Most children in foster care are placed there due to parental abuse or
neglect. A stable foster home is rare. Most of these youth move as many
as 12 times and each time it takes months to get situated, causing them
to fall behind in school. Added stresses make it difficult for many foster
kids to focus on school, develop long term, trusting relationships, or
possess healthy self-esteem.
“All my life I heard that I was going to be on welfare
like everyone around me. Because of JBF, I’m going
to UC Berkeley, something I never even dreamed of.”
— Tyrone, Junior at UC Berkeley
5. Total population under age 18 9,364,530
Homeless youth 292,624
Foster care youth 68,000
Entered foster care last year 32,753
Foster youth who were emancipated last year 5,393
Emancipated Foster Youth
As stressful and challenging as the foster care system is, emancipation or
aging-out is equally overwhelming. Once youth are forced out of the foster
care system at age 18 they are at great risk of homelessness: 65 percent of
youth leaving foster care need immediate housing and within 18 months 40
percent find themselves homeless. Without assistance most emancipated
foster youth fare poorly as adults because they lack support in achieving
• Only 54 percent of foster youth graduate from high school and barely two
percent obtain a bachelor’s degree or higher.
• Over half are unemployed and a fourth receive general assistance.
• Within two years of emancipation, 25 percent of foster youth are jailed.
Helping these youth now benefits society in the long run because without
adequate resources to transition into adulthood, former foster youth become
unable to support themselves and must rely on state resources. It
is a win-win to help them develop their intellect and
confidence so they can achieve independence
and ultimately help others. A recent study by
the University of Chicago found that for
each dollar spent on extending foster care,
there was a $2.40 return.
Sources include: The Annie E. Casey Foundation; National
Center on Family Homelessness; Center for Social Services
Research, UC Berkeley; and the League of Women Voters.
California Youth Demographics
6. DIRECT GRANTS: Over $3 million in grants statewide were given to 128
deserving California nonprofits serving homeless, foster and former
foster youth, including:
• PEACE4KIDS (Compton): Programs and services for foster and at-risk youth.
• A HOME AWAY FROM HOMELESSNESS (San Francisco): An after school respite for
• MY NEW RED SHOES (Burlingame): Gives new clothes to 2,500 homeless children
to start the new school year with pride.
• ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES COMMISSION (Fresno): The Sanctuary Youth Shelter
provides displaced youth with emergency shelter.
BACKPACK TO SUCCESS and LAPTOP GIFTS: Over 2,600 college
students were awarded gift cards for life necessities to help them
succeed in school. Also, winners of a managing your finances essay
contest received laptops. These programs receive matching funds from
generous retailers and businesses.
GENERAL ADVOCACY: JBF advocates for legislative and policy reform on
issues regarding foster and former foster youth at all government levels.
CALIFORNIA COLLEGE PATHWAYS: Designed to increase the number of
foster and former foster youth pursuing a higher education.
THP-PLUS: A $36 million program helping more than 2,200 former
foster care youth find housing after turning age 18.
SSI TRANSITIONS PROJECT: Provides continuous benefits to foster
youth diagnosed with a mental or physical disability.
FOSTERING CONNECTIONS: A program to ensure extended benefits to
foster youth until age 21.
HOMELESS YOUTH CAPACITY BUILDING
PROJECT: Provides capacity building
resources, technical assistance and grants to
organizations helping homeless and youth at
risk of being homeless.
7. Please give to the John Burton
Foundation for Children Without Homes
and let these youth know they can count
on you. You have the power to change
lives, here’s how:
• MAIL YOUR DONATION: Use the
enclosed envelope. Make your
check payable to The John Burton
• Donate Online: Through our
fiscal sponsor, Community Initiatives:
1. Visit us at http://www.johnburtonfoundation.org and click the
“Donate” button in the upper right corner.
2. This takes you to the Donate Page, click: “Donate Online.”
3. You are now at the support page of Community Initiatives.
4. Scroll halfway down the page and select “John Burton Foundation”
(names are in alphabetical order).
5. Submit the amount of your donation and press donate. Thank you!
• Other Ways To Help
–– In Kind Donations: Donate laptops, gift cards, school supplies or
other items that you think would help these youth.
–– MATCHING GIFTS: Ask if your employer supports a matching gift
program, this may double the value of your donation.
–– PLANNED GIFTS: Charitable gifts, through estate planning,
minimize taxes and fulfill the wishes of loved ones.
–– STOCK: Count stock according to its fair market value as a tax
deductible donation and avoid paying capital gains tax incurred
The John Burton Foundation for Children Without Homes
235 Montgomery, Suite 1142
San Francisco, CA 94104
All donations are tax deductible. TAX ID: #94-3255070
JBF is a fiscally sponsored project of Community Initiatives.
8. This brochure was made with the support of the Taproot Foundation.
Printing courtesy of: Operating Engineers Local Union No. 3
“I wanted to thank everyone for the gift card. My pants
had torn badly and now I have new ones! This was the
second time in my life I purchased a non-thrift store
outfit. I am grateful to have something that is mine before
anyone else has worn it. The excitement is indescribable.”
— Alycia, College Student
“I was in foster care for four years and had 18 different
homes. The John Burton Foundation has helped me
manage my life. When former foster care youth fall
they hit rock bottom because there is no cushion or
emotional support available to us.”
— Valerie, Laney College Student