Salem facility to offer emergency housing for children in foster care

The purpose of the facility is to give children who are displaced a safe, comfortable place to sleep

SALEM, Va. – A new facility in Salem is aiming to serve the rising number of children in foster care with safe and comfortable emergency housing.

HopeTree Family Services in Salem renovated one of their cottages to serve as temporary emergency housing for children in foster care.

“What we wanted to provide a space that would be very comfortable, that would be very inviting and would have all the comforts of home that they could come and stay with the children until they can find that appropriate placement,” said HopeTree President & CEO, Jon Morris.

The renovated cottage has four rooms with two twin beds in each one, making space for at least eight children who have been displaced.

The facility also has three bathrooms, a kitchen, and a game room.

In a matter of just six months last year, there were over 160 children in foster care who were displaced and forced to sleep in unsuitable arrangements.

It’s happening right here in both Roanoke City and the county’s Department of Social Services. Some children are forced to sleep in their offices because of the lack of foster homes.

“The message that a child or the feeling that there is nowhere else for them to go other than an office just adds to the trauma that they’re going through so we hope this begins the healing process,” said the Director of Roanoke City’s Department of Human and Social Services, Steven Martin.

HopeTree teamed up with Roanoke City and DSS along with other organizations to fundraise over $50,000 to make this project possible.

More children will now be able to have a suitable place to sleep while waiting for a foster placement.

“This is a better option in that way. it doesn’t solve the problem but it’s a step in the right direction in providing a more normal setting for the child,” said Director of Roanoke County’s Department of Social Services, Sue Goad.

About the Author:

Sydney joined the WSLS 10 News team in June 2021.