Only On 6: The P.I. Project
Every year teenagers in Texoma are basically thrown out on the street.
All because they turned 18 years old.
In the foster care system it's called aging out, but hundreds of Texomans are going above and beyond to give these kids a forever family.
The goal to "Phase In" teens that age out of the foster care system started as Pastor Kile Bateman's vision.
But it has turned into a community wide effort that now has state officials on board.
The project hasn't officially kicked off, but it's already changing the life of 19 year old Joe Graham.
He has his own room and a job now, but his story was headed in a much different direction just one year ago.
After a heart breaking childhood, and spending 6 years in foster care, his time was up..
"I got phased out and then it started spiraling out of control from there," said Joe Graham.
He was out on the streets, selling watermelons and sweet potatoes and sleeping wherever he could.
Sadly, he is not alone.
About 1,500 kids in Texas phase out of the system every year. Last year there were 10 kids who phased out of the system in Wichita County.
"There is that element of desperation out there that kids that just need a place to go," said Evangel Temple Pastor Kile Bateman.
But that's where a property on Maurine Street comes into play. The first $50,000 is already paid for, raised in just one week, making this dream closer to a reality.
"You do all you can, and God will do all you can't." said Pastor Bateman.
Pastor Bateman said the support has been jaw dropping.
Even Child Protective Services is behind this project, and it goes all the way up the chain.
"What we are seeing happening is absolutely historic. Where the state and the church are coming together, with the same spirit of compassion. They have been our greatest allies, because they know this epidemic first hand."
Randy Neff with CPS says, the prison systems of America, try and gage their future population based on kids that phase out of foster care.
"It's unfortunate because these are youth that are in care for no fault of their own," said Neff
But the project hopes to change that, and new doors are opening every day..
The property on Maurine Street has 3 buildings for living quarters, it will eventually become the East Campus and hold 35 students.
But right now the focus is on one building which will hold the first 16 students
The love and guidance will come from house parents David and Twila Daniels who already live on the campus.
The husband and wife team actually met while working at a children's home, and said months before learning about this project they started missing the kids and what they used to do.
They have already helped Joe achieve some of his dreams and have seen a major change in just a few months.
Joe recently received his GED and even landed a job!
But Joe says more important than that, he now has a father and mother figure.
The center will also include a one stop shop, that will house numerous agencies.
The location will help get these students into a career and hopefully a home of their own.
Something else that's in the works is a second location on East Scott street that could house another 35 students.
That would raise the capacity for this program to 70 youths, and make it one of the largest transitional living facilities in the nation.
The target date to move the first 16 students in is set for November 15, 2013.