Tipping Point
Dec 16, 2019 · 4 min read

Tipping Point Commits $20 Million, Seeking Additional Funders to Contribute $10 Million Towards Effort and Partner on Solutions

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 13, 2019 — Today, Tipping Point Community announced it is launching a $30 million initiative to improve support and services for the estimated 4,000 transition-aged foster youth in the Bay Area. The initiative — called Better Futures for Foster Youth — aims to change policy and systems to help transition-aged foster youth (ages 14–24) secure stable housing, pursue and persist in higher education, and get better access to the supports and benefits they deserve. It will also establish a first-ever statewide data platform to identify and scale effective interventions. The initiative was introduced at Tipping Point’s 13th Community Breakfast, an annual event at which the organization honors three of its grantees for their impact on the region.

Tipping Point is committing $20 million towards the effort, which was seeded by a $10 million lead gift from Grace and Steve Voorhis. The non-profit that fights poverty in the Bay Area is asking other institutional funders to invest an additional $10 million to align with the initiative’s objective of supporting the region’s foster youth.

Support throughout a young person’s life is critical to a successful transition to adulthood, especially at key milestones — graduating high school, applying for college, trying to land that first job, or living on their own for the first time. And yet, for foster youth, government support and resources drop off at these very moments. This lack of support has massive impact on the futures of foster youth — only 7% of foster youth have a college degree; 1 in 3 children served in child welfare systems have been homeless by age 26, and almost 80% of females have had pregnancies by the same age[1]. Without guidance through these crucial transitions, many current and former foster youth struggle to find their way. As a result, far more end up experiencing homelessness than graduating from college.

Tipping Point is taking a three-pronged approach to improving outcomes:

Focus on systems: Investing in policy and advocacy at the State and County levels

Connect community: Connecting government agencies and non-profits for better collaboration and data sharing

Invest in individuals: Funding organizations with effective direct service interventions

“We are cutting right to the heart of the structural issues that make the system stacked against foster youth,” said Sam Cobbs, President of Tipping Point. “We want these youth to have the same support, care, and opportunities we’d want for any of our own children. We have to improve the systems that will better serve their needs and make it possible for them to succeed.”

Current grantees of the Initiative include:

John Burton Advocates for Youth

National Center for Youth Law

On the Move


University of Chicago

John Burton Advocates for Youth (JBAY), one of the initiative’s first grantees was recognized at the annual Breakfast for the enormous impact the organization has made on legislation that has directed hundreds of millions of dollars to foster youth and youth at risk of homelessness.

“The youth we’re focusing on in Better Futures got the short end of the stick, twice, from their tough childhoods and from the system that wasn’t able to make good on its promise,” said Amy Lemley, Executive Director of JBAY. “We can do better by them, and we must.”

In addition to JBAY, Tipping Point honored two other grantees at the Breakfast, Canal Alliance and Brilliant Corners. Canal Alliance — a Tipping Point grantee since 2007 — exists to break the generational cycle of poverty for Latino immigrants and their families. Brilliant Corners, a grantee since 2018, was honored for its work providing innovative supportive housing to those who need it.

To learn more about Better Futures for Foster Youth Initiative, visit www.tippingpoint.org/betterfutures.

For more on Tipping Point Community, visit www.tippingpoint.org.


Tipping Point’s mission is to break the cycle of poverty for people in the Bay Area who don’t have the resources to meet their basic needs. Since 2005, Tipping Point has invested more than $260 million for housing, early childhood, education, and employment solutions in the region. Our board covers 100% of our operating costs, so every dollar donated goes where it’s needed most. Last year, we helped more than 21,000 reach milestones that break the cycle of poverty. To learn more, visit tippingpoint.org.

[1] SOURCE: 2011 Chapin Hall Midwest Study of the Adult Functioning of Former Foster Youth

Tipping Point

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We fight poverty by finding and funding the most promising non-profits in the Bay Area. See how we’re changing the odds: www.tippingpoint.org + @tippingpoint

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