To dramatically reduce the number of children who have been in foster care for over 1 year.
The mission of New Life Village is to provide a supportive environment, within an intergenerational community, for children in need of a safe and stable family experience.
Founded in 2012 and located in Tampa, Florida which is heavily impacted by the affordable housing, opioid and foster care crises, NLV is an intentional, intergenerational community designed to support families raising adopted, kinship and foster children, many who have survived abuse, neglect, and trauma, offering them program-rich, below-market housing, and onsite wrap-around services. Senior citizens also live in the Village serving as surrogate grandparents, tutors and mentors to these children. The Village promotes permanency, community, and caring relationships, while offering safety and meaningful purpose with an onsite Wellness, Resilience and Character Development Program. It is an alternative to the isolation, trauma, and adversity that too many foster youth, their adoptive families, and aging elders endure. Our wholistic community approach leverages the power of place, permanence, and shared social purpose to improve residents’ housing stability, access to health resources, educational attainment, and community connection. We exist to reduce the number of children in foster care by encouraging more families to adopt or to prevent children from entering foster care. Currently, there are 104 residents at the Village, with 54 children and 50 caregivers and supportive seniors living on site. New Life Village is the only community of its kind in Florida! NLV was recognized by the Florida Civic Advance with the 2019 Honorable Mention FCA Civic Excellence Award for Intergenerational Civic Engagement. We focus on three areas that impact the local foster care system:
Village Statement of Faith
The Great Commandment is the source and strength of New Life Village. Love God above all things; Love others as God has loved you! Following that commandment, New Life Village is mandated by the specific teaching of Jesus to “Let the Little Children Come to me–woe to the one who hurts one of them,” As witnesses of God’s Presence among us, the program operates day-to-day, aware of and obedient to the movements of the Holy Spirit in all its interactions and decision making. We respect and embrace all people in an interfaith community that practices showing the love of Christ through service and love. As part of God’s mission for us, we believe, as a Village, it is our priority to help one another develop wellness, resilience, and healing.
Why Do We Exist?
Both nationally and locally, the foster care system is filled with children who need 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.
- There are over 437,000 children in foster care in the United States.
- Over half of these children remain in care for at least one year.
- Over 22,000 of these children will remain in foster care for five years or more.
- Over 18,000 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…
Hillsborough County is amidst both a Foster Care and an Affordable Housing crisis. There are simply not enough affordable housing options for seniors and low-income families, and there are also not enough foster homes for the volume of children entering into the system of care.
- Florida is 3rd in the country with the number of children affected by foster care and Hillsborough County is 1st in the state.
- As of 11/30/2019, in Hillsborough County, there are more children in foster care, 2,436, than in any other county in Florida.
- During the fiscal year 2018-2019, 14,935 children entered out-of-home care in Florida.
- As of June 30, 2019, 13,065 children were in kinship care, while 10,320 children were in licensed foster care, statewide.
- As of 6/30/2019, in Hillsborough County, there were 3,172 children under case supervision.
- In the tri-county area (Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas), there were 6,342 children under case supervision.
- In 2012, there were 2,800 in the system of care in Hillsborough County. The dramatic increase is correlated with the rising opioid crisis.
- Many older children end up living in group homes where they remain until they “age out” of the foster care system, often later 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.