When Tia Schaefer turned 19, she faced a “survive or die” situation.
She had been in government care for four years, starting when she was 15. She spent a year in a foster home and three years on a youth agreement – a form of independent living with financial support from the government. At age 19, government support ended and she had to look after herself.
She managed to eke out a living in part-time and full-time jobs, but never had quite enough money. At times she had to couch-surf to get by.