Frequently, when a child is removed from their home due to abuse or neglect, they wait in a Child Protective Services office until placed in a foster home. The child is often dirty, hungry, tired, scared and unable to bring any personal possessions. Isaiah 117 House seeks to provide for that child’s needs, whatever they may be, in a temporary home-like environment during these critical moments between removal and placement.
Isaiah 117 House is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization that provides physical and emotional support in a safe and loving home for children awaiting foster care placement. The Tennessee-based organization cares for children awaiting foster placement and currently has locations in eight states, with many homes under construction across the country, including a Dallas County, Texas, home.
On Oct. 8, the nonprofit hosted a community-wide kickoff event in Georgetown, Texas, to introduce Isaiah 117 House to Williamson County and featured a presentation from Ronda Paulson, founder and executive director.
Plans are to fundraise and build a new home in Williamson County for foster children as an alternative to them going to a CPS office while awaiting placement. This house will be used for the day after a child is removed from their home and while he/she is waiting on foster placement. Rather than waiting in a CPS office, a child can be comfortable in an Isaiah 117 House.
The house is an actual home with a comfy couch, a bed for a nap, a full shower/bath to get freshened up, a washer and dryer to get their clothing washed, and an office for CPS to utilize while they make calls and do paperwork. The open floor plan will allow CPS staff to always have eyes on the child as they are responsible for the child, and Isaiah 117 House volunteers can be extra hands to love on the child and help them play and relax and get a snack while the caseworker can get his/her work done.
The home will also have a Giving Room upstairs which will be fully stocked with clothing in all sizes, toiletries, blankets, teddy bears, school supplies and more so that a child, on this difficult day, can feel dignity about the items they take with them to their new placement.
“We encourage everyone — whether you are simply curious about our services or if you know you are ready to make a commitment and get involved — to join us as we take this exciting next step in Williamson County,” said Paulson.
People can get involved by attending Expansion Meetings at First Baptist Church on the first Sunday of the Month. These meetings are open to the public and people can check their Facebook page for more information or contact Tara Thornton at (423)518-3760, extension 132.
Cover Photo Jerrod Wittman
Wendi Baird is the Editor in Chief for Texas Lifestyle Magazine. As a fifth generation Texan, her roots run deep in the Lone Star State. She fell in love with journalism in high school and has enjoyed writing about her experiences ever since.