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A home in search of a family: Non-profits build house for licensed foster families

<i>WLOS</i><br/>Fostering Hopes teamed up with H3 Collective to build a 5-bedroom home for a licensed foster family in Buncombe County.
Fostering Hopes teamed up with H3 Collective to build a 5-bedroom home for a licensed foster family in Buncombe County.

By Andrew James

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    BUNCOMBE COUNTY, North Carolina (WLOS) — The need for foster families in Western North Carolina is great. More than 300 children are in foster care in Buncombe County alone, and the county does not have enough licensed foster parents to keep up with the demand.

“In Buncombe County, as with every county in the western part of the state, there’s a huge need for more foster parents,” said Alex Williams of Fostering Hopes.

According to Williams, Buncombe County has between 320 and 340 children in foster care. More than a third are sent to other counties because of the lack of foster families in Buncombe County.

“This professional foster parenting home is a model which we’re piloting,” Williams said.

Fostering Hopes has teamed up with another non-profit, H3 Collective, to try to find a solution in the form of professional foster parenting homes.

“We wanted to build a home that was large enough to house 5 or 6 kids and then foster parents, and doing it safely and comfortably,” said Adam Ponder of H3 Collective.

The non-profit is in the process of building a 5 bedroom, 3,600 square foot house for a licensed foster family. The goal is to have it move-in ready this summer.

“We built a large home, a beautiful home. We want those kids who come in to just sense a lot of hope and excitement and be proud of their home,” Ponder said.

The non-profits will soon begin looking for a foster family to move in. They are looking for licensed foster parents who are married and do not have children under age 18.

“We have a home that is a pure family setting where we’re going to have a licensed foster parent couple, this is their job, this is what they do, this is their focus,” Williams said.

The family will move into the house for free, paying for utilities and providing a much-needed home for foster children in Buncombe County.

Up until now, the house has been built solely through donations, but they will soon have support from the Dogwood Health Trust. The non-profit’s plan is to build two more homes on the 10 acres of donated land in Buncombe County before eventually expanding the program into Henderson and Transylvania Counties.

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