Homestead Community’s Annual HopeRaiser event
The HopeRaiser Event: Providing hope and homes for youth
By Rachel Kelly
Save the date for Homestead Community’s annual HopeRaiser event to provide hope and homes for youth. The goal of the Homestead Community is to create a community of homes and resources for children in foster care and youth facing homelessness. The Homestead Community was founded in response to a gap in housing for our most vulnerable. This lack has been created by a decline in foster parents and available homes, while the demand for housing continues to outstrip availability. Nearly a quarter of children reach 18 with no home to call their own. The Homestead Community is providing a solution through subsidized housing for large homes with a licensed foster family. To do this, they work with the state and the foster system to provide children a consistent place to call home.
This makes fostering more accessible for the foster parents, allowing for them to dedicate more of their resources and time toward the many children under their care; children who, being touched by foster care, often need additional time, space and effort to heal. A loving home goes a long way toward nudging children along the path of healing from traumatic experiences, as well as to blossom into their full potential. What’s more, these homes offer a place for children who often go in and out of the foster care system. They are able to come back to a familiar place while they pursue options for adoption, or simply age out of the program. The Homestead Community is a place where safety and comfort is found; a familiar place they can stay instead of being shifted around every 90 days. Sue Braeten, the founder of the Homestead Community, hopes that this model can serve as an inspiration for other communities who also desperately need to address the shortage of housing for youth.
The Homestead Community not only provides a safe and loving home for foster children, but they additionally focus on keeping sibling groups together. In 2016 they purchased their first home and filled it with a foster family who was able to take in additional children as a result.
Last year’s funds of $52,000, raised from the HopeRaiser event, were used to buy a second home. This year’s funds will go to continue to expand housing opportunities for foster youth who need it most. The event will be held at Best Western Wesley Inn in Gig Harbor bright and early at 7am on Thursday, October 5. A full hot breakfast will be served, so there’s no reason to run out the door with nothing but coffee in hand! Throughout breakfast will run a silent auction and an enticing raffle. There will also be a panel of speakers to share messages of hope and inspiration, including the foster parents who make care for these foster children so impactful.
For sponsorship opportunities and donation forms, and to purchase tickets, please visit HomesteadCommunity.org and click on Fundraising Events.