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Columbus ministry opens new home for foster children

Published: May. 14, 2022 at 8:33 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - A new home for foster kids hosted its grand opening Saturday in the Chattahoochee Valley. There are currently about 15,000 kids in the foster care system in Georgia.

With this new home, Lifebridge will help provide life skills to those kids before leaving the foster system.

Lifebridge, a child advocacy ministry, is providing foster kids with a safe, healthy environment to learn and grow. They have partnered with the Clement Art in Georgia to bring foster kids from their program to Lifebridge, providing them with the tools they need for success.

On average, 20% of teens who age out of the foster care system end up homeless. Tyila Cooks, child advocacy pastor for New Birth Outreach Church and director of LifeBridge, says this is for those at-risk kids or those aging out of the foster care system to learn the life skills they need to transition into the adulthood.

“We have a solid plan for where they want to go, a strategy to get there,” she said. “And we give them an opportunity to apply those skills and practice them before they get into the real world.”

This project had many volunteers and sponsors to help make this house a home for these kids. Carlos Coleman, New Birth Outreach Church lead pastor, says the church received the land under his father’s leadership about 8 years ago.

“The overall is goal is to make sure that we affect one child at a time through foster care or training in foster care and making sure that they are not only great citizens, but they also love God too,” Coleman said.

Children spend on average 18 months in Georgia’s foster care system. Cooks says they have different rooms set up to teach topics like housing, cooking, financial literacy to educate the kids as they move along in life. They also have spaces for future foster parents wanting to learn more.

“We align potential foster parents with the resources they need to become foster parents or adoptive parents,” Cooks said. “We also want to support the ones who are already foster parents.”

The home plans to start opening its doors as early as this upcoming week. To learn more about LifeBridge, click here.

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