By Kayla Hayes
New life Village, an intergenerational community in Tampa dedicated to helping children out of foster care, understands that it truly does take a village to raise a child.
According to Fostering Court Improvement there are more than 2,000 children in foster care in Hillsborough County alone. Imagine a community where neighbors and families with children are dedicated to caring for each other and the children are freed from the limiting cycle of foster care. New Life Village (NLV) is the first initiative of its kind in Florida to provide this type of community for adopted children.
The ultimate goal of NLV is to end foster care by partnering with other organizations around Hillsborough County. NLV Director Paul Halpern said, “We want families to adopt older children, since they are less-often adopted. We are also looking for older adults who want to live here and contribute to the village and the families.” From infants to seniors, all are important to the community at NLV.
NLV recently acquired a cluster of townhomes in Tampa at 4926 Venice Lake Ave., many of which are ready to be moved into by adoption families. People with construction supplies and expertise are still needed to help build additional dwellings. “We can use all kinds of building supplies,” said Halpern. His vision includes a multi-service center and more family-style homes. The village will ultimately be a self-sustaining community needing no financial support from the government. Surrounding communities will benefit by investing into the village, because the children will be educated on paying taxes and supporting their own families.
“These kids deserve and will get everything that a normal child gets,” Halpern said.
If you are considering adopting a child out of foster care, the NLV community may be a great option. For information, visit www.newlifevillage.org or schedule a visit with Paul Halpern. To donate time and materials to the development of NLV or support the village financially, call 304-0623or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.