PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Dr. Ben Carson made a special visit to the Pittsburgh area Friday to commemorate the one-year anniversary of a program aimed at helping young people living in foster care.

For so many young adults leaving the foster care system, they have nowhere to go and a lot of them end up living a life of poverty and crime.

Numerous leaders and politicians, including Sen. Pat Toomey, sat down for a roundtable discussion today on how the new program is making a difference for these young adults.

It’s called the Foster Youth to Independence Initiative, also known as “FYI.”

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

The program offers housing vouchers to local public housing authorities to prevent or end homelessness among young adults. Many of them are under 25-years-old, have aged out of the system and have nowhere to go.

In fact, 25% of foster youth who age out of the system end up homeless. It’s a big problem.

The initiative was launched last year. In Allegheny County specifically, the Housing Authority received $42,000 in funds and provided seven foster youth with assisted housing.

Carson says, no matter the struggles, these young adults should have the opportunity to rise to their potential.

“The young are the inheritors of our great nation. They represent our future, and programs like FYI are really an investment in the future. I’m proud to see some of the fruit that has been produced,” Carson said.

Leaders say quality education also plays a big role in the program.