TAMPA, Fla. — A Tampa Bay area childcare business is asking for your help in getting basic necessities to kids who will soon be forced out of a shelter for abandoned and neglected children. Joshua House is set to close on March 31.
Doublemint Sitting, co-owned by Gabriela Rosello and Synthia Fairman, is now working to assemble Fresh-Start Bags for these kids as they prepare to go into new living arrangements and placements when Joshua House closes.
They need items like body wash, deodorant, makeup remover, hair products, acne cream, feminine hygiene products and any other products most of us take for granted.
“With our fresh start bags, this is one last thing they have to worry about," Fairman said.
Fairman is a former foster child. She said kids are oftern just given trash bags to gather everything they own when they are shifted from placement to placement. They are also looking for suitcases to help kids transport their belongings.
Fairman, who works with Friends of Joshua House, the non-profit that helped build the Lutz shelter, is devastated these kids will need to leave this facility. She said it is their home.
“These are the kids that have been so abused, so neglected, so abandoned and forgotten, this is their safe place," Fairman said. "And the doors are shutting on March 31st."
CHS says it is now exiting residential care, but Friends of Joshua House is hoping to get the property back before the March 31 deadline.
"We want to buy it back at current use and a reasonable price," said DeDe Grundel, executive director for Friends of Joshua House Foundation.
DeDe Grundel with Friends of Joshua House worries about what the shelter’s shut down could mean.
CHS says it is allowed 36 beds and currently has 19 children. Since November, it has helped 12 children transition back home or to other foster homes.