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life_traceyYou have your whole life ahead of you, right? Sounds exciting. Sounds fun. Sounds easy.

But wait – where should you live? How will you get around? What about your money – how should you manage it? How can you stay healthy? Where can you find childcare? What legal paperwork should you have when you’re ready to live on your own? With all these decisions, it can seem overwhelming.

Relax. Great Expectations has lots of resources to help make living on your own easier. Explore the pages below to find information about the specific areas where you need help. Check out Mike’s story. Then, print off a checklist and start planning your future.

It’s your life. Go grab it!

Find a home

Finding a great place to live is the first step in living on your own. Learn how to choose a location, apply for housing and pay for it without breaking the bank.

Your money

Figuring out how to manage your money is one of the hardest – but most important – skills you can have. Learn how to get started here.

Staying healthy

Unsure about how to access healthcare? Look here. You’ll also find great tips for staying healthy.

Find childcare

When you have a child, there is nothing more important than finding safe, affordable childcare. Start here for some great resources.


Getting around can be a big challenge if you don’t have a car. Check here to find options for getting one or for using public transportation to get around town.

Legal issues

Our legal system isn’t just for people who break the law – it also helps protect your rights. Learn more here.

Independent Living Program

An Independent Living Program can be a great way to make the transition to the real world. Check it out.

Project LIFE

Project LIFE (Living Independently, Focusing on Empowerment) is a partnership with the Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) and United Methodist Family Services (UMFS). The goal of the project is to promote permanent family connections for older youth while coordinating and enhancing life skills development for older youth in and transitioning out of foster care.

Success stories

Mike is motivated to be a good student and make his family proud. Great Expectations has given him that opportunity.


A checklist is a great, step-by-step way to keep track of what you need to do and when. Get started by printing off this one.

Find a Great Expectations Program

Could you use some additional advice on some part of living on your own? Look here for the names and contact information for established Great Expectations programs across Virginia.

A major initiative of The Virginia Foundation for Community College Education
Virginia's Community Colleges
Funded in part by the Mary Morton Parsons Foundation