COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio has launched a program to help young adults who have aged out of the foster care system make the transition to living independently.

The Bridges program provides housing and help with utilities, clothing and groceries to youth who leave foster homes on or after turning 18 but who are not yet 21.

Cynthia Dungey is director of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. She says Bridges can be a helping hand many youth need during a turbulent time.

To be eligible, former foster kids must be in school, working, participating in an employment program, or have a medical condition that prevents them from going to school or working.

The state is running the program through a contract with Child and Family Health Collaborative of Ohio.