MITCHELL, S.D. (KELO) — More children in need of foster care could have a new option next year.
The Abbott House already has foster homes and apartments in Mitchell and Rapid City, but those homes in Mitchell are just for girls.
Roger Blair and his wife Brandy now foster girls through the Abbott House.
The pair moved to Mitchell from Indiana in 2018, where they worked in youth ministry for several years.
“Just felt like it was the right time and God was leading us this way,” Foster Parent Roger Blair said.
The Blairs foster children in one of the organization’s homes.
“It’s been a very interesting year, but it’s been very rewarding,” Blair said.
The house also has apartments attached to it for young women transitioning out of the foster care system.
Now the Abbott House is planning a facility for boys.
The foster home and apartments would go here at Crystal Manor. Currently, it’s a senior residential living facility, but it’s been placed up for sale.
Abbott House Executive Director Eric Klooz says a bid has been accepted.
It’s not a done deal yet, but it’s getting close.
“Now, we’re going through the process of inspections and all those pieces,” Abbott House Executive Director Eric Klooz said.
The new space for boys will fill a need.
“We opened a home in Rapid City and that home has been at capacity since we opened the doors with a waiting list. We’re working on opening our second home out there, but I think it just opened our eyes to the need,” Klooz said.
“I know one of the girls in our house, when they found out about it said, ‘It’s such a great opportunity that we have. It’s so good that boys will have the same opportunity,”’ Blair said.
The new home will be able to house six boys in the foster care program.
Initially it will have two apartments, but there could be up to four in the future.
Klooz says they hope to open the boys’ home in March. South Dakota’s Department of Social Services says currently 947 children are currently in foster care statewide.
More foster parents are needed.
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