Corpus Christi (KIII News) — According to Child Protective Services, there are over 2,000 foster children in the Coastal Bend, and many of them are without homes.
One woman in the Coastal Bend is trying to change the way foster children live by creating a local foster neighborhood called Agape Ranch.
Agape Ranch is not yet built, but the plan is to make it as conducive as possible for foster children and their families. The ranch will consist of 19 homes on eight acres of land in the London School District. The Agape Ranch homes will be designed for different needs including high capacity homes, standard size homes, respite care housing, and homes for residents who can act like a grandparent figure.
The passion project is being headed by Executive Director Susan Klaus, who has three adopted children but wanted to make an even more significant impact.
"What can we do to make an impact? A difference in our community that we are living in? And so that is when we started finding of the need of foster care," Klaus said.
According to CPS, there are not enough homes in the South Texas region for foster children.
"So many of the children of South Texas have to be placed in foster homes far away like San Antonio and Dallas," said Tara O'Connell, Director of CPS Region 11.
According to O'Connell, there is nothing like Agape Ranch in the Coastal Bend, and it would be incredibly beneficial.
"It allows the families and the children to receive the services there on the property instead of driving all over town in heavy traffic," O'Connell said.
The way foster families would qualify for the Agape Ranch is by going through a vetting process.
"Because there is high accountability when you move on to Agape Ranch because we do want to provide very high-quality care," O'Connell said.
The funds to build the ranch are all donation based.
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