PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Dr. Ben Carson will be in Pittsburgh on Friday. It’s part of his effort to highlight a new program that started here a year ago.

As many as 15,000 kids in Pennsylvania are in foster homes. What happens to them when they turn 18 and are turned out of their foster homes?

That’s where a new HUD program might make a difference.

Dr. Carson is no stranger to Pittsburgh. For years he has been awarding Carson Scholarships to young people here. But on Friday, he’s in touch for the first anniversary of the Foster Youth to Independence Initiative.

“About 20,000 age out of foster care every year. And they’re put out. They’re on their own. And unlike most young people, they don’t have a family or support system,” Carson told KDKA political editor Jon Delano on Thursday.

“About a quarter of them end up homeless in the next four years.”

HUD developed this program to help young people leaving foster care with vouchers to cover twelve months of rent, renewable up to age 25 if needed.

In Pittsburgh, Carson will meet with five of the ten voucher recipients in this area.

“We’ll be at the round table. We’ll be having a discussion. We’ll be hearing from them in terms of their experience but also allow the people in the community who are involved in the program or would wish to get involved with the program,” he said.

The vouchers come through county housing authorities, and the program, still in its infancy, has awarded $5.4 million to 665 individuals nationwide.

“We want that to be a temporary situation and a trajectory towards self-sufficiency,” he said.