AUSTIN, Texas — As the population in Central Texas continues to grow, a new multi-use resource center in North Austin will open in January to help an increasing number of foster families in need of support.
Oftentimes, foster families are only given hours of notice when welcoming in a new child to their home, said Crystal Reinwald, a foster turned adoptive parent. Reinwald added that this comes with a lot of stress if caregivers do not have all the resources required for CPS to place them in that home.
Foster Village, that nonprofit resource center, was created in 2016 to fill the gaps.
The center provides resources like cribs, beds, strollers, clothing, backpacks and more therapy-oriented items, to caretakers in order to help them provide for their foster children.
"We didn’t have enough beds. Foster Village was able to supply us with an extra bed, and they’ve given us beds and strollers," said Reinwald. "When we are done with them, we give them back to other foster families, and it’s just a really amazing community.”
Since its opening, it has expanded to two more centers in the Central Texas area and multiple affiliate locations across the U.S.
The North Austin location will be third location in their expanding initiative.
"We've had families drive from over an hour away to get to our South location, so we just wanted something that’s more accessible to those families on this side of town," Chrystal Smith, the founder and executive director of Foster Village.
In addition, they provide support services like therapy, support groups and visitation rooms to make the transition as smooth as possible.
This new location is located nearby the Austin CPS office on Summit Drive, an ideal location for kids who have visitation hours during the week.
"A lot of times it's in the CPS office, which can be a really traumatizing place," Reinwald said. "So having a place that is a home, literally a home that someone can walk into and feel comfortable and see their families ... it's really an amazing thing they are doing here."
Smith said this organization takes the support of an entire community and it's looking for businesses, individuals and groups to sponsor them.
To get involved through donations or volunteering, visit their website.
PEOPLE ARE ALSO READING: