SEARCY, Ark. — THV11 has been committed to helping Arkansas foster children for years. Through our partnership with DHS, we've brought you stories of children up for adoption.
However, there is so much more beneath the surface of the stories we share — families in crisis, broken homes.
Now, a Searcy group is stepping in to help, all in the form of a home.
"We take children in care from DCFS and provide foster homes for them," Sparrow's Promise Executive Director Brandon Tittle said.
He's referring to Sparrow's Promise, a non-profit organization that's building a home from scratch — letting foster children know that they matter.
"You have value, you are worthy, you are loved and we are gonna be there with you through whatever you're going through," Tittle said.
Formerly the Searcy Children's Home, the group outgrew it and has transitioned away from just being a place to stay.
The organization is building a multi-purpose house in Searcy that will be a place for children to stay as an alternative to DHS offices, along with other practical spaces for new programs.
To build the house, they called upon Harding University Professor of Interior Design Amy Cox.
"I look at this project as not just a building, but the purpose behind it is greater than the walls, the paint or whatever furniture selected," Cox said.
Cox enlisted her design students to help. They measured the house and produced drawings, getting real-world experiences and a lesson in public service.
"What color will help reduce stress? How can we arrange the space in order for people to have conversations together? Not just sit in a room and be on their phone," she said.
The hope here is strengthening families, providing a safe haven not only to stay but for visits between a foster child working toward reunification with his or her biological family.
"They'll be able to have those visits in home-like setting instead of a restaurant or the DHS office," Tittle said. "When the child comes into care they can be brought there and wait until a foster family becomes available — in a comfortable place that has space for them to be, rest if they need to."
"I can picture those kids and families visiting together in a way that is meaningful," Cox said. "It's the vision we had it's all coming together."
A vision of strong families.
"We want to be the advocate for mercy in their families and help them triumph over the judgment that they're feeling," Tittle said.
Ribbon-cutting for Sparrow's Promise is March 11, and we are committed to being there every step of the way. We will share more with you throughout this week.