The nonprofit org aims to provide basic resources and teach financial literacy to help girls transition to independent living.
Malika Williams felt spiritually called on to form The L.I.V.E. Outreach, a mentoring and skill-building nonprofit for teen girls in the foster care system, helping them transition to semi-independent living. Williams went into the system at 14, taken away from a home in which, she says, she and her siblings had to endure physical abuse and drug use.
By 17, she was a mother and on trial for felonious assault and attempted murder. She spent a year in jail and another four on probation. “The future of my life was really dark, but I do remember those people here and there along the way that might’ve scraped up a couple dollars to make sure I could go to prom,” Williams says, “and those couple people that gave me that $50 I might’ve needed to get my baby some diapers.”
The L.I.V.E. Outreach assists with basic resources, teaches financial literacy and works with small businesses to introduce the girls to new joys and ways to be successful. Williams and her mentees also give back, cleaning up the community and volunteering at places like Crossroads and Forgotten Harvest. It’s all about exposure and opportunity. She says, “As a foster kid, you would think they have all these resources. But no, they release these kids almost like they do the prisoners.”
The L.I.V.E. Outreach is hosting a skate party from 6-9 p.m. April 26 at RollerCade in Detroit. Visit theliveoutreach.org for more info or to donate.