TAMPA, Fla. — The Children's Home Society of Florida agreed to sell the Joshua House back to the Friends of Joshua House Foundation after much back and forth discussion.
After the sale is complete, the Foundation will re-open the Joshua House to care for abused, abandoned and neglected children in Florida's foster care system.
"This was a great opportunity for both organizations to go in the direction they truly wanted to serve," says DeDe Grundel, Executive Director of the Friends of the Joshua House Foundation.
Grundel hopes the sale will be complete by August. The Foundation will then have to go through a licensing procedure again with the state. They will begin to accept children after that.
Joshua House's mission is important as about 4,300 children are sheltered annually in the foster care system in just Pasco, Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties.
It also does not help 60% percent of the foster families recruited and licensed each year are lost for whatever reason.
The agreement between the Children's Home Society of Florida and Friends of Joshua House Foundation comes with a price tag.
The Foundation is now trying to raise $3.4 million, a large portion of that money will pay for the purchase of the buildings.
"It's a bricks and mortar kind of campaign so once that debt is satisfied and the startup costs are behind us we can move forward with the enriching the services everywhere with more and more of what this community needs," explains Grundel.
They know raising money will be no easy task and it will take time.
"Friends of Joshua House Foundation have taken on the responsibility of entering into a loan in order to achieve the first step which is to purchase and transfer those rights to us in order to continue," explains Grundel.
The last child left the Joshua House on March 31.
And for Grundel, it's sad to think about but she is confident the future is bright.
"I dream of tumble weeds running across the property but soon it will be soccer balls and basketballs and footballs again so we just need to get there," says Grundel,
To help cover the $3.4 million cost, the Foundation is now accepting donations. Click here to find out more about how you can help.