LORAIN, Ohio (WJW) – A unique home for children in Lorain will soon be on the move thanks to a slew of donations.
“We are at 1.5 million almost halfway to our goal of 3.3,” said co-founder Donna Humphrey.
The Blessing House God’s Project of Hope was founded in 2005 and is now set to nearly triple in size during construction this spring.
The faith-based nonprofit is a licensed residential children’s crisis care center for youth from infancy up to age 12. It’s the only one in Lorain County and one of two in all of Northeast Ohio.
“We’ve dealt with families who are dealing with domestic violence,” explained Sister Mary Berigan a co-founder. “We’ve been part of the process of helping families when someone is getting detox or is getting treatment for substance abuse. So every time we think we’ve hit on all the reasons why they come, something new starts.”
Parents can voluntarily and temporarily give their children to the Blessing House for care while they work to get back on their feet. Sister Berigan says the Blessing House is open 24 hours a day every day of the year.
The home is currently licensed to care for up to 10 children at a time. However, the upcoming move to land near St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church will allow for needed growth.
The planned new facility can accommodate nearly 30 children at a time which Sister Berigan says will allow for greater flexibility to help additional families.
“This was the bed I was sleeping in,” said Cristofer Torres, back visiting the home for the first time in years.
Torress, 19, says he has fond memories of his numerous stays at the Blessing House as a child.
“I believe this house actually gave me a blessing,” he said.
Sister Berigan says that is truly touching.
“We have served 1,505 children. All of those children that have come through I have met, seen, I’ve helped to care for,” she said.
Torres says he’s grateful for the Blessing House and people inside who will forever be a part of his heart.
“They took care of us, they gave us showers, they fed us, they always made sure we went to school early,” said Torres. “They helped us with our homework, they just did a good job. I loved this house and I still do.”