BULLHEAD CITY – Most high schoolers don’t think about finances. By the time high school has ended, financial education for most, is a subject of mystery. Some may struggle with paying for college, residential rentals, car loans, even trying to figure out how to budget finances with a low income job.  

Is it lack of effort or lack of education?  

Katie’s House Foundation partnered with The Normalize Money Project School of Financial Literacy, is recognizing the lack of financial education and is making strides to educate the community on financing as well as better housing options. 

Katie’s House Foundation is a nonprofit that provides shared housing in safe neighborhoods. Their mission is not just intended for younger adults.

They service people who have aged out of the foster care system, victims of domestic violence and human trafficking, veterans, college students, and low income households. The Foundation works closely with other nonprofits and government agencies for grant funding. They also lease homes to low income individuals. Suggested stays are one week to two years. 

The inspiration for Katie’s House comes from VanderJagt’s best friend Katie. The family showed VanderJagt unconditional support during the many challenges she faced as a young adult. One of the goals of Katie’s House Foundation is to provide housing that is affordable for individuals facing crossroads throughout their life.  

Currently, the organization has 13 acres of land in the Crystal Beach area of Lake Havasu City. The plan is to develop 10 homes to support those in need. 

Katie’s House Foundation would not be active today without Founder and CEO Kirsten VanderJagt. VanderJagt’s compassion for the cause began with her own personal struggles similar to many of those starting out and starting over. 

VanderJagt has a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies and 20 years in the banking industry as a financial analyst. The Normalize Money Project was VanderJagt’s first nonprofit where she taught financial literacy to teens. 

It was an experience that came as quite a shock to the VanderJagt who observed that, “Without a well to do co-signer or grit intermediate financial education, today’s complicated financial system leaves teens and adults unable to qualify for their own housing, manage their hiccups, or understand the paperwork.”  

The National Center for Education Statistics reported that, “The overall enrollment rate of (college applicants) 18 to 24 year olds was 38% in 2021.” The study showed a decrease from 2010 which was formally 41%. According to the Pew Research Center, since the CoronaVirus outbreak in 2020, many young adults between the ages of 18 to 29 living with their parents became the majority. Their 2020 study stated that, “In July, 52% of young adults resided with one or both parents, up from 47% in February. The number and share of young adults living with their parents grew across the board of all major racial and ethnic groups, men and women, and metropolitan and rural residents.”  

Statista.com documented that the unemployment rate for individuals ages 18 to 30 in the year 2022 was 9.4%. A rate that Statista says is higher for adults ages 25 to 29. 

To find out about Katie’s House Foundation visit Katie’s House Foundation?Beautiful Shared Housing – Katie’s House Foundation (katieshousefoundation.org)

Currently, free financial advice for teens, younger adults, and people starting over can be viewed by watching The Normalize Money Show. The show can be found by visiting Katie’s House Foundation – YouTube. 

Phaedra Veronique