In just two months, the project aimed to prevent girls aging out of foster care from becoming sex trafficked has added two members to their family.
Shannon Clark has lived in a lot of group homes and said that typically, there are very few people there that actually care about you. With Legacy Housing Project, that's not the case.
"Most people are in it for the money," the 19 year old said. "They don't care what you do, if you run or away or anything. But here, here it's peaceful. If I have a problem, I know I can talk to Richard or Brandi."
Pastor Rich Tidwell and his wife, Brandi Tidwell, had a vision of creating free housing for girls who just aged out of the foster care system and are at high risk for becoming victims of sex trafficking. Sitting at the table with their new tenants — Clark, and 19-year-old Zoe Wiley — it's safe to say that dream is now a reality.
A reality they're already looking to expand. Ormond Church, where Tidwell is a pastor, is currently looking to partner with 100 families who are willing to donate $50 a month to fund expenses for their current girls, and help them have enough money to bring in more.
"We want to be able to build up funds in order to do additional houses," Rich Tidwell said. "It will help us to establish some consistency. Our vision is to continue housing ladies and then address the crisis with boys."
The church recently held a benefit concert at Ormond Performing Arts Center, where their church is currently held —and raised $2,500 from over 80 people attending.
"Zoe shared her life story," Rich Tidwell said. "It was really powerful."
Wiley has been at Legacy House for two months, and will soon move to the house's downstair apartment because she is expecting a baby. Clark, who has only been at the Legacy House for a little over month, said it's by far the best group home she's ever lived in. Her and Wiley both got jobs at Lowe's, and Clark is currently finishing her GED. She has a lot of plans for the future, including starting a nonprofit to help prison inmates adjust to civilian life when they get out.
"Growing up in foster care, I know people who have been in and out of prison," she said. "It's hard."
Legacy House needs your help!
The Legacy House is currently being operated by Ormond Church, and needs help in the following areas:
- Meals: Looking for people to prepare meals, donate meals, meal prep, etc.
- Transportation: Looking for people to help give the girls rides to school and work.
- Ground keeping: Looking for assistance in some maintenance on the Legacy House property.
Email [email protected] or call 506-1018.