Updated: 9:32 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2, 2011
Posted: 9:03 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2, 2011
"The economic downturn has made the need even greater. More children need a safe place to grow up," said Patrick DeSantis, executive director of KidSanctuary Campus. The nonprofit plans construction on 6 vacant acres donated by the Palm Beach County Commission.
Plans call for KidSanctuary to build the houses and an administration building at Pioneer Road and Florida's Turnpike in suburban West Palm Beach. Each house will have a capacity of about a dozen children between the ages of 5 and 18.
Organizers hope to raise the $7 million needed to build the entire project within about five years, DeSantis said.
"Brothers and sisters need to be kept together. That will be an important part of our job," said Annie Marie Delgado, the government consultant for the 501(c)3 organization.
KidSanctuary will be managed by Place of Hope, a faith-based organization based in Palm Beach Gardens that provides shelter for abused and abandoned children. Last year, Place of Hope assisted about 1,300 children and families.
Place of Hope opened Villages of Hope in 2008 for children who "age out" of the foster care system when they turn 18. Residents work regular jobs and pay a sliding scale for rent to live in adult-supervised residences on 1.2 acres in an unincorporated pocket south of Northlake Boulevard, about a quarter-mile east of I-95.
"KidSanctuary will be an extension of what we do at Place of Hope. The need for homes for abused and abandoned children is growing," said Charles Bender, executive director of Place of Hope.
The groundbreaking is scheduled to begin 9 a.m. Wednesday at Pioneer Road and Florida's Turnpike.
For more information, go to kidsanctuary.org.