(Pictured: Lori Kaplan, Richard Renner, Laura Yeomans and Angela Gonzalez)
By: Angela Gonzalez, Host Homes Program Manager
LAYC is honored to have recognized Laura Yeomans and Richard Renner, foster parents extraordinaire, at our recent Breakfast for Heroes.
Laura and Richard are truly champions in the lives of the most vulnerable youth in Maryland. Since 2013, Laura and Richard have served as host parents for LAYC’s Maryland Host Homes program. As host parents they provide emergency shelter to youth who are in an unsafe situation at home or dealing with homelessness. Laura and Richard have opened their doors to their loving home for six youth.
But their generosity does not stop there. Laura and Richard have gone out of their way to meet the needs of youth by providing them with support beyond the requirements of our program. In two instances, they helped youth who had no other family support or alternative safe living arrangements by extending their stay in their home and providing both financial and emotional support until they completed their high school studies. These two young men finished high school and are now living independently and transitioning into healthy adulthood. Laura and Richard remain in their lives as caring adults.
Furthermore, Laura and Richard have supported our Maryland Host Homes program with generous financial donations amounting to more than $15,000. With this support, we have been able to help youth and their families with urgent expenses that cannot be met through our grant funding. As of October, 2017, we have assisted 26 youth and families with groceries, medication and medical supplies, school uniforms and supplies, emergency rent, legal fees, and toiletries. This assistance has really made a difference if the lives of these individuals, including a mother and her three daughters who had recently arrived in the United States and had been put out on the streets by a relative. Laura and Richard’s support helped them pay emergency rent, cover their basic needs, purchase school supplies, and secure transportation to ensure the girls stayed in school. Today, this family is self-sufficient and lives in a safe and healthy environment. In another example, Laura and Richard’s generous backing bought prescription glasses for a young high school student who almost lost her eyesight.
Laura and Richard, we are proud and honored to know you, and we are so grateful for the many lives that you have touched and will continue to impact by opening your home and hearts!