BY DREW ANDERSON
It’s no secret that there are issues with the foster care system in America. If you keep up with the news, you’ve no doubt heard about the foster care crisis across the nation. They say everything is bigger in Texas, and that unfortunately includes the state’s foster care crisis. Knowing this, Meagan Haasbroek and Lauren Schaefer have spent nearly two years tirelessly working to bring Isaiah 117 House to Dallas County in an effort to change the way foster care begins.
Isaiah 117 House, a non-profit organization, exists primarily to reduce trauma for children entering into the foster care system. Isaiah 117 House provides a safe, loving place where children can stay while they transition into the system. “Currently, when children are removed from their homes there is a lag time between removal and when they find placement,” said Meagan. “This lag time can be anywhere from a few hours to several days. Meaning that children in our community are sleeping on office building floors, in cheap motel rooms or in makeshift facilities while they wait for a foster family. And we want to change that!”
Lauren added, “These children are being taken away from the only home they have ever known and we want to make sure that they are seen for the person they are, and to remind them that they have done nothing wrong.”
For the last two years, Lauren and Meagan have been raising awareness and garnering supporters. The process has now shifted to the fundraising stage. In order to open the Dallas County Isaiah 117 House, they must raise enough funds to purchase a house in full and cover the first year’s operating expenses.
According to Lauren, “We do not receive any government funding. This home will be the product of our community coming together because they want to change the lives of these children.” Aside from monetary donations, there are several ways people can get involved. Countless volunteer opportunities exist ranging from grant writing to lemonade stand fundraising. And once the home opens, the opportunities to get involved will be multiplied. “Our home will need everything your home needs, and then some!”
Meagan is currently an educator in GPISD, but will soon transition to the Program Coordinator for Isaiah 117 House Dallas Co. She and her husband, Gerbrand, live in Grand Prairie and enjoy visiting his home country of South Africa.
Lauren manages the heath of patients on Medicare and is a licensed foster parent. She is the proud mom of son, Tevyn, and has had the privilege of caring for 10 foster children since she began in 2016. Meagan and Lauren attend Calvary Church GP and are active in the children’s and local outreach ministries.
“Let’s build this house and change the way foster care beings for the children of our community!” If you would like to learn more about Isaiah 117, make a donation, or get involved, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://linktr.ee/Isaiah117houseDallasCoTX.
(423) 518-3760 Ext. 636