Untraditional foster care home comes to Neodesha

SoHome Kids raising money for renovations
So Home Kids Building

NEODESHA, Kan. – Making sure that every kid in foster care in Southeast Kansas has somewhere to call home.

“I’m sure a lot of state workers can roll their eyes at that because they’ve probably heard that before,” says Nathan Daniel, Founder and CEO of SoHome Kids.

According to the Kansas Department of Children and Families, in July, there were more than six thousand children in foster care in Kansas. But there aren’t enough foster homes for all of them to be placed.

“One of the biggest needs that I see in the years that I’ve worked, and is still a need, is to place siblings together and to place older children that are really good kids, they’ve just had some unfortunate circumstances that have occurred to them,” says Pam Richardson, the VP of Foster Care at TFI.

“There are a lot of kids that have been sleeping in offices, and the need is huge. And I don’t think that’s necessarily the fault of the workers or anything like that because I see so many workers with heart and passion in this, they just aren’t properly equipped a lot of the times and don’t have the resources to really make sure that what their desires in their heart play out in real life,” says Daniel.

After being a foster parent himself for five years, Nathan Daniel founded SoHome Kids with the vision of doing just that. Making sure that children in the foster care system don’t fall through the cracks.

And he’s well on his way, now that the first location has been secured in Neodesha.

“We will be able to help about 20 foster kids here at this facility. We have 13 bedrooms available for kids,” says Daniel. “I’m very excited to see this come about and see all that it’s going to be. we have very high hopes for it.”

A nine thousand square foot property on Illinois Street in Neodesha was donated to SoHome, that they are now working on turning into their first foster home. Once renovations are complete, it will work kind of like a group home where they will care for around 20 kids. But Daniel says it will be a lot different than a traditional group home because they will focus on keeping siblings together, and put an emphasis on getting parents to a place where their kids can go back to their original home.

“We want this to be different. We have people on board that have been foster parents who have that experience,” says Daniel. “When a kid leaves my home personally, it breaks my heart… it absolutely breaks my heart that they don’t know where they’re going next. And so we hope to be able to fill and bridge that gap. And they don’t need to know that.. they know where they’re going next.”

Daniel hopes the home will be ready to take in kids by Summer 2021.

It will cost between four and five hundred thousand dollars to renovate the 100-year-old building, so they are kicking off fundraising efforts with a chili feed on Saturday, October 10th. The chili feed will be from 1 pm to 4 pm at 1103 Illinois in Neodesha.

If you want to learn more about SoHome Kids, you can find links to their website and Facebook page below.