About us

StopGap Inc. was founded by Justine Burton in 2008 as a grassroots nonprofit organization with 501(c)3 status to empower youth who are aging-out of the foster care and provide them with the life skills necessary to transition into the adult world and avoid the pitfalls of poverty, homelessness, and exploitation.

StopGap Inc. currently offers an 8 week program that teaches life skills to help young people make the transition to productive adulthood. Ms. Burton's ultimate aim is to provide a safe, welcoming environment with mentors available on a regular basis to all at-risk youth and youth aging out of the foster system to get help connecting to all of the services available to them through existing state and community programs and organizations.

 

Through working closely with youth and their case workers, we discovered that what many kids need most is a guide to help show them the right steps to take, what boxes to check, what their personal course of action can be to become successful and independent adults and offer a place to get the tools they need and make a plan.

 

Because StopGap, Inc. is not a state-run organization we have a unique opportunity to help create flexible, personal plans for each teenager. Eventually, our dream is to have a large enough team and enough volunteers to help every at-risk teenager, whether that means help accessing and completing college or trade-school applications, a ride to a job interview, access to food and housing assistance, help with state paperwork to access assistance available to youth from the foster system, and so much more.

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Our mission:

To empower youth aging-out of foster care and other at-risk youth in attaining ownership of their lives by providing them with a foundation of life skills to transition from dependence to independence and compete in society.

 

 

Our Diversity Policy:

Stopgap, inc. is dedicated to diversity in all areas of its work. We feel and believe that we can learn and benefit from diverse cultures and perspectives and that diversity will make StopGap, inc.,  more effective in meeting the needs of all participants. We are committed to developing and maintaining an organization in which different opinions, ideas, abilities, backgrounds, and needs are cultivated and valued and where those with diverse backgrounds and experiences can participate and contribute.

The future of StopGap, Inc. is to grow our Youth Empowerment Outreach Program and be a direct resource support service for teens who have aged out, or will soon age out of the foster care system and, provide the necessary support to get connected with every opportunity available and help them with the necessary steps towards being successful and independent on their own terms and according to their goals and aspirations. 
our Executive Director:
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Justine Burton

Justine was homeless at the age of 16, and experienced firsthand the kinds of problems many youth that will “age-out” of foster care face: homelessness, drug and alcohol addiction, prostitution, and many other harrowing experiences. With her unique perspective, faultless drive, and a degree in Human Services, Justine was determined to create StopGap Incorporated, a program that stands alone as the only facility in Douglas County with the primary goal of assisting at-risk youth’s transition from dependence to independence and helping them achieve their full potential..