Our Story

Vision 

To dramatically reduce the number of children who have been in foster care for over 1 year.

Mission

The mission of New Life Village is to reduce the number of children in foster care by encouraging more families to adopt by providing these adoptive families a loving, supportive intergenerational neighborhood to call home. Our “Home” is an intergenerational residential community designed for families raising foster and adopted children. New Life Village residents have either adopted a child from foster care or are in the process of doing so. Several supportive seniors also call New Life Village home. They serve as surrogate grandparents and volunteers to the children and to the mission. The Village offers a reduced rent incentive to assist these families and seniors. The Village also offers a program to support parents and children. We were founded by Sister Claire LeBoeuf, of the Congregation of Sisters of Holy Cross. 

While our village was founded by a Sister, we are non-denominational and welcome residents of all faiths and family orientations.

History

Though never in foster care, after her mother’s death, Sister Claire of the Sisters of Holy Cross, experienced firsthand what it means to be in a family where one simply doesn’t belong. In 2005, after founding New Life Dwelling Place in 1982 and Everyday Blessings in 1997, two other non-profits supporting foster, reunification and adoptive families, she attended a town hall meeting to discuss potential community solutions to address the unprecedented number of children in foster care in Hillsborough County.  Two of the most challenging issues discussed in small break-out groups during this half-day session included the need to reduce the number of children languishing in foster care and the need for emergency shelter placements that would allow siblings to stay together.  Sister Claire LeBoeuf was a member of the workgroup discussing the number of older children in foster care who spent years moving from one home to another without having a permanent adoptive home.  The workgroup discussion included an innovative program in Illinois called Hope Meadows that was reducing the number of children in foster care who had historically lingered in the system (children older than age six, or children with disabilities, or sibling groups of children). Hope Meadows  by provided low cost housing and on-site services and supports for adoptive families in a community that housed similar families and seniors who were willing to serve as surrogate grandparents to the children. After traveling to Illinois and touring Hope Meadows, Sister Claire found the investors and the Board who shared her vision. Together they founded New Life Village in 2008, and in 2013, after finding and finishing the development of the property in Palm River, the town homes were ready to be called “home”.

While New Life Village is founded by a nun, our community is non-denominational and we welcome residents of all faiths and family orientations. Intentional intergenerational communities are being established all over the country to pair populations needing service with talented seniors who can serve them. Similar Generations of Hope communities serve veterans, autistic children, dependent seniors, transitioning families, and foster-to-adopt families.

Our Values

  • Faith
  • Appreciation
  • Kindness
  • Collaboration
  • Sharing
  • Love
  • Education
  • Safety
  • Family
  • Gratitude
  • Respect
  • Boundaries

Why Serve Foster Children?

Both nationally and locally, the foster care system is filled with children who need to find a forever home.  These kids have been through more than most of us can imagine and end up in foster care through no fault of their own.

Nationally…

  • There are a little over 400,000 children in foster care in the United States.
  • A little over half of these children remain in care for at least one year.
  • Nearly 50,000 of these children will remain in foster care for five years or more.
  • Approximately 30,000 children remain in foster care into adulthood.
  • Annual and state expenditures for foster care total more than $9 billion a year.
  • It costs the average taxpayer in Florida $40,000 a year for every child who does not have a permanent home.

In Hillsborough County, Florida…

  • Florida is 3rd in the country with the amount of children affected by foster care and Hillsborough County is 1st in the state.
  • During the 2016-2017 fiscal year, 17,623 children entered out-of-home care in Florida. As of June 30, 2017, 13,646 children were in kinship care, while 9,460 were in licensed foster care state-wide.
  • In Hillsborough county (as of 2/28/18) there are 3,828 children under supervision in the system of care, with 6,883 children under supervision in the system of care in the tri-county area.
  • In 2012, there were 2,800 in the system of care in Hillsborough County. The dramatic increase is correlated with rising opioid crisis.
  • Many older children end up living in group homes where they remain until they “age out” of the foster care system there after often becoming part of the homeless population or having children of their own who also end up in foster care.
  • Children who languish in foster care have a far greater chance of dropping out of high school, becoming a teen parent, abusing substances, and being homeless.