RUSK COUNTY, Texas — To raise awareness for the growing need of foster families and support in East Texas, a nonprofit is asking for the community's help in locating its next location for its group home for children.
Kingdom Care 127 started in 2018 when a group of East Texas women got together to do more for the local foster community. Tammi Truitt a board member said the first step after speaking to Child Protective Services was to address the lack of foster families.
"The number one thing they needed at the time was a child watch house, because so many kids were being taken out of the out of their homes and put into the foster system," she explained.
After finding a cottage in Rusk County, members of the nonprofit fixed it up and children mostly teenagers began staying there. Kingdom Care 127 covers Region 4, which is made up of 22 East Texas counties.
However after 18 months, Truitt said the lease is up on the cottage as of June 30 and it's time to find a new place for the kids to call home. Ideally, she said it would be 3 to 4 bedrooms with multiple bathrooms.
"It started off with kids only being there like 24/48 hours, but then it's just become such an influx, some of these kids are staying, you know, weeks to almost a month before they can find a proper placement," said Truitt.
While the group home is currently in Rusk County, Brooke Carter vice president of the nonprofit said they're open to relocating it within Region 4.
"Ideally, we would like to have several cottages around East Texas, so that the kids could stay in their local area," said Carter. "Not everybody in their lives that they're being removed from are negative influences. They need to keep that school structure, they need to keep their friends and their teachers that love on them and take care of them also."
The long-term goal for Kingdom Care 127 is to open an emergency shelter for East Texas children placed in the state's care.
Anyone with information or suggestions of a location that the nonprofit organization could use are asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org.