Fort Worth duo advocates for more resources for foster care children

Former foster care kids and advocates appealed to state lawmakers Wednesday for more support for kids that age out of the system.

Right now, many are left without the resources to take care of themselves once they are too old for the system.

Mike Guinn, a housing coach for foster care youth preparing for adulthood, gave a moving testimony to the state house appropriations committee.

"I was able to help him secure an apartment, but he struggled. He struggled with anger issues, which led to numerous confrontations that landed him in jail and psychiatric hospitals," he said.

Guinn was sharing about his relationship with 25-year-old Dashawn Palmer. 

"Me, personally, it makes me feel special. It makes me feel wanted and it would be great to see other youth feel the same way," he said.

Guinn’s appearance at the State Capitol was an appeal for increased funding for programs like the non-profit, Transitional Resource Action Center, which paved the way for Palmer’s path to independence albeit delayed.  At 21, he was not yet ready for life on his own.     

"I was nervous," he said. "I didn’t know what was going on. So like the support system they provided me with everything, bus passes, being able to find a job and guide me on the career path that I’m going into, it was a blessing."

If Guinn’s testimony seems striking, it’s perhaps because he is also a lyricist, a poet and a spoken word artist. 

"We try to cater our approach individually to whatever they need. He and I have this rhythm and lyrics thing going," he said. "Someone else may like culinary arts. We find a way to try and connect with them where they are."

Palmer did not shy away.

When FOX 4 asked him for a bit of his newfound passion with lyrics, he’s pursuing a career as a rap artist. He also has his sights on becoming a meteorologist.

"To be honest I don’t know where I would be without the program," he said.

The House Appropriations Committee listened to testimony from a number of people in the matter of possible increased funding for programs like the one that helped Palmer. A decision has not yet been reached.