David was used to having others manage his life. When he came to The Foundling for the first time 16 years ago— as a resident in one of our Brooklyn homes for people with developmental disabilities—he soon learned that he could achieve more than he ever thought possible.

With the support of The Foundling, he has learned life skills, improved his health, and found independence. Faced with medical concerns, our residential staff helped him manage his own health—administering his own medications, changing his diet, and introducing exercise into his daily routine. He was also encouraged and supported in taking public transportation, allowing him to integrate into his community and gain autonomy. This past summer, he moved into his own apartment at our Vital Brookdale complex in Brooklyn— where he is set to build a lifetime of memories and accomplishments.


Anastasia is proud to have received her Bachelor’s degree from Queens College last year—and credits The Foundling’s Fostering College Success Initiative
program for helping her each step of the way. She credits the program with providing her with the skillset needed for living independently—from budgeting, to cooking, to managing her life. Living in the dorms allowed her to connect with other young people from similar backgrounds in an environment oriented toward healing and growth.”

Anastasia was inspired by her tutors’ intellect and continual support—they never judged her, kept her on track, and motivated her to major in secondary education. Because of her experience with the Fostering College Success Initiative, she is inspired to pay it forward and help others succeed academically.

Diamond and Francina

When Diamond and her mother Francina moved to New York City from Albany, they had difficulty finding stable housing and employment, and Diamond—a teenager struggling to cope with past trauma—was misbehaving, breaking rules, and fighting with her mother. With the help of The Foundling, they transformed their lives for the better. Claudia, their clinician in our KEYS program analyzed their home situation and worked to remove obstacles to the family’s success and well-being.

16 year old Diamond was connected with trauma-focused therapy, and mother and daughter were trained in communication, problem-solving, and conflict management skills. Foundling staff worked with them on job applications, helping secure a permanent position for Francina and a summer job for Diamond, and assisted with navigating bureaucratic issues in maintaining their housing. Whenever the family faced a new crisis, The Foundling was there as a support system, providing them with mental health guidance and encouragement in seeking and pursuing educational and vocational opportunities.

Now, the family is doing great— and with the tools they’ve learned, they’re ready to get through anything together.


Nyyim, a young adult in our TFFC Foster Care program, had an interest in the military since the age of 7 – and with the support of The Foundling, he completed his school’s ROTC program and became a US Marine this summer! Joseph Alexander, a Foundling staff member who has worked with Nyyim over the past two years, attended his boot camp graduation ceremony. “I was able to witness one of the most amazing young men I’ve ever known accomplish the dream that has carried him through a rather difficult childhood,” he shared.

Vernon DD

The Foundling employs a full-time Nutrition team to ensure that the residents in our homes for people with developmental disabilities stay healthy – from nutritious meal planning to regular exercise courses.  Across all of our 104 supportive residences, staff and residents are encouraged to try new recipes and bolster their cooking skills. With the help of our dedicated staff, Vernon, who lives in one of our residences in Brooklyn, learned to cook his own healthy meal of oatmeal blueberry pancakes! Not only is he learning skills for independence, but is achieving the tools and mindset to stay healthy for years to come.


For many people with developmental disabilities, it can be difficult to express oneself through language and actions. In our Day Habilitation programs, we work to elevate the voices of our participants, and provide them with meaningful tools for self-expression and fulfillment. Through art workshops – from photography to poetry – many of our participants found that art provided a novel way to truly share their voices and experiences with the world. “Art makes me feel terrific and excellent,” says Elizabeth, who shared many of her photographs in our 2022 art exhibition. “I feel happy. I learned about myself.”






As a person with developmental disabilities living in one of our residences, Adeola faced a number of difficulties in achieving her goals. Like many young people, Adeola has always wanted to find employment, go to college, and become independent—but she struggled to find pathways to achieve this on her own. Over the past three years, however, she’s discovered an incredible support system within The Foundling—and her future is bright.

After a year and a half of intensive training in our Employment Services program, she now works part-time as an Administrative Assistant. The program continues to influence her continued success— Foundling staff continue to provide workplace guidance, and encourage her in her academic goals. Adeola is attending college full-time, working toward her bachelor’s degree in Disability Studies – and she’s succeeding in the final year of her studies. As an aspiring artist, she hopes to one day teach art to others.


Caring for a newborn and a toddler is a lot to handle in the best of times, but COVID-19 has posed even more challenges for young families. During the height of the pandemic, Nitegua – a mother of two infant children, Najay and Nellieann, in the Bronx – faced new pressures in balancing pandemic safety measures with childcare and necessary household tasks.

As a resilient and dedicated mother, Nitegua was willing to do whatever it took to best provide for her family’s needs—and when she began her work with Strengthening our Families, she had access to a new support system that was there to help. Her Founding coach, Melanie, provided support to improve her family’s stability—GED classes for her husband, guidance as she worked to secure better housing, and more. With Melanie’s help, Nitegua enhanced her budgeting and household management skillsets, and was able to move into a new apartment that fit her family’s needs. Now, her family is doing great— “[The Foundling] helped me execute the plans I had in place to move my family forward,” she says.

Michelle and Liv

As a transgender woman with developmental disabilities, Michelle had spent most of her life struggling to access the gender-affirming care she needed. But after coming to live at one of our supportive residences two years ago, she was finally able to take the steps to live as her true self. The dedicated Foundling staff at Michelle’s home provided her with crucial support throughout her transition process – helping her navigate the healthcare system, update her identification documents, and more.  When asked to provide advice for others in the LGBTQ+ community, she shared that it’s important to “make sure they have the right people around to help.” At The Foundling, Michelle found just that – and is now on her way to living her best life and reaching her full potential!


As a 19-year-old in foster care, Sitan had already faced a lifetime’s worth of challenges when she gave birth to her daughter in April 2020. But the added stress of managing life as a new parent — during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic — made her struggles feel insurmountable. Her foster care team saw that Sitan needed more help, and connected her with our Mental Health Services department.

Through therapy, Sitan learned breathing exercises and coping mechanisms, and now tackles her challenges one day at a time. Additionally, The Foundling helped her make important steps toward independence— she secured daycare for her daughter, rented her own apartment, and has found a full-time job. She now has the stability to provide for her daughter, and is optimistic for the future ahead.

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