According to statistics every year nearly 20,000 foster care children age out of the system across the United States. Eighteen months after they're gone 50 percent end up homeless.
One Texoma church is trying to change that both locally and nationally. It's called the Phased-In Project and it was created as an expansion of Evangel Temple's Dream Center.
It's a project that would take in about 30 foster youth who age out of the system when they turn 18. The hope is for them to go to college and find a great career. Sunday was the first step in realizing the projects potential.
They came they walked and they prayed. Church member met at Maurine Street to tour the four homes and pray over the project. As they took a look inside each of the rooms, they saw the potential in some and looked past the mess in others. One vision they saw in all of this, was that of hope.
"They've always been told they're aging out, phasing out, in and out of foster homes," said Evangel Temple Pastor, Kile Bateman.
Pastor Bateman is working alongside others in creating the housing facility off Maurine Street.
"Some of them when they're 15, 16, 17-years-old are praying believing God that somebody will love them enough and bring them into their home and when it never happens they begin a spiral in life," he said.
The goal is to end that spiral of drugs, alcohol and incarceration with the P.I. Project. It's moving pretty quickly too; this week the house parents will move in.
"As soon as we can be full-time, put our heart and soul into this, this is number one to us and when that door of opportunity opens up we're right here ready for it," said House Parents David and Twila Daniels. "We're here to change their life and show them that there is hope that God loves them and that they have a future."
There's nothing like the Phased-In Project in town. According to Pastor Bateman there's only a few others statewide that are similar but they're much smaller. His dream is bigger and it started with a vision that's already blossoming.
"We could duplicate this all over the state all over the country and it starts right here with seeing the vision having people sow into that vision and making it a reality."
Pastor Bateman has already met with state leaders and they've given him the go-ahead. Pastor Bateman and his wife have two adopted children of their own, so it hits closer to home.
David and Twila Daniels have worked with foster children before, so they were the
perfect match for the house parents.
If you're interested in donating construction material, furniture, funds, and/or other items you can contact the church office at (940) 691-5501. The project is still several months away from opening as it will cost several hundred thousand dollars.