LUTZ, Fla. — For three decades, Joshua House has been a safe haven for kids who have been abused, neglected, or abandoned.
“When these kids get here, they’re traumatized, they’re hurting, they need some healing. These teenagers are feeling a lot of abandonment and frustration because they just feel given up on,” said Dede Grundel, Executive Director of Friends of Joshua House.
Grundel said they want to make sure children find a loving home and grow up to be productive members of society. However, that was all in jeopardy in March 2020, when the former owners of Joshua House decided to move in another direction.
Friends of Joshua House Foundation stepped up to buy the children’s home and spent the last year restoring the property.
“We wanted to make certain that things were safe. The infrastructure was more up-to-date and that we were able to provide a really nice welcoming home to these kids,” Grundel said.
The kids will have new bedrooms, renovated kitchens, and a computer lab. Grundel said it would not have been possible if it weren't for the outpouring of support from the community.
“Our community stepped up and said 'what do you need?' And provided it and addressed a big Amazon wish list and whittled it down and it just kept going. And all of this during COVID,” Grundel said.
The restoration of Joshua House also offers multiple providers under one roof, including therapists.
“What we’re doing is creating a safeguard for decades and decades to come by making certain we have multiple providers all with different specific skill sets,” Grundel said.
She said the goal is to continue to promote growth, stability, and support to Tampa Bay’s most vulnerable citizens.