Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Minnesota extends lifeline to foster youth hard hit by COVID-19 pandemic


March 19, 2021

David Joles, Star Tribune

Keyana Johnson was 21 years old and pregnant when she "aged out" of the foster care system. Here, Johnson started her day with her children Stephon, right, and Prodigy.

Keyana Johnson woke on her 21st birthday to a harsh reality. She was just weeks from giving birth to her second child and unable to work because of illness related to her pregnancy. And she had no money for rent because she had just become too old to continue receiving foster care benefits.

But Johnson did have tenacity. She spent the next year cycling in and out of emergency shelters and hotels until she had cobbled together enough money working as a cashier to move into a duplex in north Minneapolis with her two children - Stephon, 2, and 1-year-old Prodigy.

"I felt like a wolf thrown out into the wild," Johnson said. "It seemed like there was no path forward."


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