Provide physical and emotional support in a safe and loving home for children awaiting foster care placement.
When children are removed from their homes out of concern for their welfare, they are usually brought to the Department of Children’s Services Offices to await placement with a foster family. This wait can be several hours to nearly a full day. These children often have nothing with them and are scared, lonely, hungry, and often in dirty clothing.
Isaiah117 provides a comforting home where these children instead can be brought to wait – a place that is safe with friendly and loving volunteers who provide clean clothes, smiles, toys, and snuggly blankets. This space allows children to receive the comfort and care they need while DCS staff are able to do the necessary paperwork and identify a good foster placement.
We currently have an Isaiah 117 House serving Carter, Unicoi, and Johnson Counties in Northeast Tennessee. Our hope is to partner with others to add homes that serve children in all regions throughout the state of Tennessee. And hopefully someday beyond.
Isaiah 1:17 says: “Defend the cause of the fatherless.” We believe this is God’s call for this ministry.
Please support the Isaiah117 House.
by Founder and Director Ronda Paulson
In 2014, my husband Corey and I went through Path Training in order to become foster parents. As part of our training, we attended a class at the Washington County DCS office. During that class, we were informed that when children are removed from their homes they often have to come to the DCS office and wait for placement. As I looked around the cubicle filled space, I couldn't imagine a scared child sitting in such a sterile, cold environment waiting to learn their fate. That is when I believe God put on my heart the Isaiah 117 House.
Fast-forward one year, on November 5, 2015, at 3:45pm, I received a call from the Carter County DCS office. Within an hour, Corey, Sophie, Mac and I were picking up our foster son. We were asked to come to the back door of the office. He was dirty, in clothes that were too small, and literally had nothing in the world. This was the second time I believe the Lord put on my heart the Isaiah 117 House.
What if there was a home where children could go when they are removed? What if there was a safe place with friendly, loving volunteers? What if there was an environment with clean clothes, bath toys, healthy snacks, comfy beds and toys? What if instead of cubicles, the traumatized child could see smiles, books, and snuggly blankets?
This is my dream for the Isaiah 117 House. Isaiah 1:17 says, "defend the cause of the fatherless." I believe that is what God is calling me to do. I see a home with a girl’s bedroom, a boy’s bedroom, fully stocked bathroom, playroom, nursery, etc. I see a team of volunteers, 2 at a time, on call to greet "the least of these" when they need love most. I see a place always ready to take in the children of this region in their time of need and help with what is inevitably a traumatic transition. I believe this home has the potential to positively affect the children who are coming into custody in ways far beyond what we could ever imagine as well as support the DCS staff of this region.