Supers to purchase home for foster kids
By Dwayne Bremer
Jun 5, 2013, 00:09
The Hancock County Board of Supervisors are in the process of purchasing and renovating a Bay St. Louis home which the Department of Human Services will use to house foster children.
The Bay St. Louis City Council on Monday approved a special exception for the property, which is located on Washington Street.
Board of Supervisors President Lisa Cowand said Tuesday that the county has set aside $300,000 for the purchase and renovation of the home.
"This is going to be a good service for DHS and the community," Cowand said. "Whenever children are taken into foster care, there is nowhere for them to go right away. We have been sending foster kids to Hattiesburg, Jackson, and all over the state."
Cowand said Hope Haven will operate the facility.
Hope Haven and DHS formerly ran a similar home on Herlihy Street in Waveland, officials said.
The foster children crisis in Hancock County has been well documented in the past few years.
DHS handles hundreds of cases every year and there has been a shortage of foster homes and case workers.
The new home will provide a temporary place for the children to stay until a permanent foster home is determined, Cowand said.
"It is important that we have something here," she said. "This way, the children do not have to switch schools, they can maintain their circle of friends, and remain close to home. These children are already suffering so much, sending them away does not help."
Cowand said the home should be purchased soon and--once renovations are complete-- will begin accepting children.