DOVER — When you have a dreams, you must take leaps of faith to pursue them.
So says Kishma A. George, president and CEO of Kingdom Investments in Single Hearts, which is currently raising funds to purchase a 24-hour supervised residential home for young women ages 18 to 23, who are presently in, or have aged out of the foster care system in Delaware.
Ms. George, of Felton, hopes to build the home in Kent County.
K.I.S.H. Home Transitional Living Program is a nonprofit, faith-based organization that will provide support services to help find permanent housing, provide physical, emotional, educational, and social support for women to achieve and sustain self-sufficiency.
“That’s my dream,” Ms. George said. “I hope to provide a transitional home for these ladies, which will hopefully help them move forward in their lives. We’ve been working on this since 2008.”
Ms. George worked as an independent living mentor and witnessed the challenges that aged-out foster care youths experienced.
“I had this one young man I was working with and he didn’t have a place to go,” Ms. George said.
“I remember riding around with him and he was just telling me how he could sleep outside and I just felt bad knowing that there are kids that continue to deal with this.”
“That sparked the idea because there aren’t places around here for men to go and as a woman I know there aren’t places for young women to go to as well. It hurt my heart knowing that they don’t have a place to go. I know if I didn’t have a place to go, I could visit my parents’ house, but some of these women might not be able to do that.”
The K.I.S.H. Home resident program will be for a period of up to 18 months. After completing the program, the women will be monitored at their permanent housing for six months by a social worker.
New Jersey native Mary Cooper, who grew up in foster care and is an associate of Ms. George, said the transitional home would greatly benefit young women successfully transitioning to adulthood and living independently.
“It will be a tremendous help,” Ms. Cooper said. “It will help them in life skills or social skills and help them get started with their own life.
“Some of these girls may have not healed emotionally or never learned basic skills necessary for moving forward in life.”
They may not know what to do and never got the encouragement they needed,” Ms. Cooper added. “This house will be a big plus for them because it will teach them those skills they may have never learned and will be encouraged to move on with their lives.”
To be eligible for the program, a woman must reside in Delaware, be a single and presently in, or have aged out of the foster care system, manager, willing to achieve permanent housing, willing to pay a portion of the rent up to half of their income, be drug and alcohol-free, be willing to maintain employment or enrollment in school and be willing to attend conferences, workshops and seminars.
Although there’s no timetable as to when the house will open, Ms. George hopes it will be soon.
“We’re working on it,” Ms. George said. “I will say we’re almost there. We will continue to have fundraisers and book signings as portions of the money will go toward the house.
“When we do open, it will not only be a dream come true for me, but for the young women that will benefit from it.
It will be another resource in the community and a safe haven for them as well. It’s truly a dream.”
For more information, visit http://kishhomeinc.org.
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