San Antonio/ Community & Society
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Published on March 03, 2024
San Antonio's Nonprofit Aims to Address Foster Care Crisis by 2025, Local Businesses Pitch InSource: Google Street View

The South Texas Alliance For Orphans is pushing forward with an ambitious plan to solve the city's foster care crisis by the end of 2025. With a goal to recruit and support 200 new foster families this year, the nonprofit strives to address the urgent need for stable, loving homes for children in the child welfare system, KENS 5 reported.

According to Pastor Mike Kraft, Director of Pastoral Engagement for the Alliance, the organization seeks families willing to prioritize a foster child's needs over their own, quoting him, "are you willing to let your heart break in order to let another heart heal," a statement obtained by KENS 5. This sentiment underscores the Alliance's focus on the challenging yet hopeful journey toward reunification of these children with their birth families. Meanwhile, Jennifer Smith, executive director of South Texas Alliance for Orphans, points out the added stresses on the system like the pandemic, which deterred some potential foster parents from opening their homes.

As the Alliance facilitates monthly informational meetings both in-person and via Zoom, they aim to demystify the foster care process. Jocelyn Wilson, the Alliance's Director of Church Engagement, said to KENS 5, "We know that foster care can be scary and that most people run when they hear the term, but we wanna make sure people can ask all the questions they have with no judgement or pressure." These gatherings have been described as successful, encouraging more locals to engage with the foster care crisis.

The urgency of the situation has attracted attention from local businesses, like DUO restaurant group owners Richard and Brooke Peacock, according to KSAT. Their establishments, including Chris Madrids and Paloma Blanca, have joined in collecting donations to provide basic comforts for foster children known as "CWOP kids," Children Without Placement, many of whom have been sleeping in offices and hotel rooms. "We have probably a pretty unusual mission statement for a restaurant group which is, to love on people through what we do. As we learned more about this crisis going on in foster care, especially these kids sleeping in offices, we had to get involved," said Richard Peacock.

The alliance between nonprofit and for-profit sectors underscores the community-wide effort required to help these vulnerable children. With a call to other local businesses to step up with donations and support, the hope is to weave a safety net that catches these kids in limbo. The Peacock's example of philanthropy is a model for other businesses, as they rally support for San Antonio's youngest, pressing the city to reflect on the collective role in securing better futures for the foster children that lie in the heart of their own backyard.