Over the last 12 years, Guy Bryant has opened his doors to more than 50 teenagers in the foster care system. Bryant, a former employee of New York’s Administration for Children’s Services, fosters teenagers who are usually the hardest to place in homes.
“Everybody wants the babies, they’re cute. They’re cuddly, everybody wants the toddlers,” Bryant told Good Morning America on Friday (Oct. 4).
When asked why teens have a harder time finding homes he replied,
“They go from place to place to place. They’re raised by a whole bunch of different people, so they have a whole bunch of different values.”
Bryant noted that potential foster parents “don’t want the problems” that come with fostering teenagers. But Bryant welcomes the opportunity. Here currently has four teenage foster sons.
Gregory Bell, bounced from one foster home to the next before meeting Bryant at age 17. Bell, a college student who lives with Bryant and his foster brothers, was excited to have his own set of keys. “Usually keys are not part of the deal,” Bell said. “Guy gave us keys that’s like, ‘I’m giving you that trust and this is our house.’ To have that foundation is like rebuilding something that was broken.”
Dior Dillard, 15, said he would be homeless without Bryant. “A lot of people have given up on me, but when I came here [Bryant] told me he wasn’t going to give up on me.”
For Shallah Dawson, moving in with Bryant has been much different from his last foster homes, particularly in the amount of space and trust that Bryant gives them.
“This kitchen means a lot to me because I just came from a place where the fridge was locked,” Dawson recalled. “I couldn’t eat when I wanted to.”
More than 171,000 teens are in foster care around the U.S. Black children are more likely to be placed in foster care, compared to whites, and are generally more vulnerable to obstacles of transitioning out of the foster care system, such as completing high school.
See more on Bryant’s story in the video above.