We’re reaching out today with a specific ask. A boy with severe autism came to the United States from Mexico as a child. Unfortunately, his mother was unable to care for him. He was removed from her care and placed into foster care in Kansas City, where he has been for several years. His mother has been unable to become an adequate caregiver during this time.

Because of this young man’s inability to speak or care for himself, he has been living in a special group home for kids like him. Now that he’s getting ready to turn 21, his living situation can no longer be funded by the Children’s Division. He has an immigration lawyer working on his case but he still doesn’t have legal residency. This means that state agencies who normally serve people with his issues are saying he can’t get services until he has legal status.

On his 21st birthday, he will be released from state custody to homelessness and a complete lack of the care he needs.

This young man didn’t ask to be brought here. He cannot help his condition. And most importantly he can’t fight for himself. He needs our community to rally to help him get the kind of compassionate care he deserves as a valuable human being. Imagine that this was your child. Would you let this be his fate?

We simply cannot let this happen so we are asking for your help. We need assistance with advocacy to help him get the legal status he deserves, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), before his 21st birthday. This may give him the opportunity to make a smooth transition from Children’s Division to the care of the Department of Mental Health (DMH) with funding for his placement and his medical needs. He needs to be appointed a guardian who can assure that he never has to spend a night without the care he needs (the Public Administrator in Jackson County). If his legal status is not resolved within the next few weeks, he needs financial support to help him to stay safely in a placement that can adequately meet his needs. As a community, we need to find a way to ensure that there are systems in place to protect our most vulnerable kids and that we are able to respond to horrendous situations like this to offer services when services are needed.

If you can help with a donation for the cost of his care, use the donation form below, and please note that it is for (Special Immigrant Juvenile Status) SIJS so that we know it is specifically for this young man. If the mountains move and systems do the right thing, then donations will go into a trust for his ongoing needs.

If you have the ability to move systems to assist with assuring he doesn’t go a single day without someone being able to provide for his care, through your ability to advocate with and beside the folks currently trying to find solutions for him, please feel free to reach out directly to Lori Ross at lori@fosteradopt.org.