East Texas emergency shelter for girls in foster care dedicated to a longtime CPS worker

Published: Aug. 22, 2022 at 12:37 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 22, 2022 at 12:38 AM CDT

GLADEWATER, Texas (KLTV) - A new emergency shelter that is opening in East Texas. Danielle’s Home of Hope is an emergency shelter for girls in foster care and is being dedicated to a longtime child protective services worker.

It’s a place offering girls in the foster care system comfort, love, and safety during times of transition.

Executive Director of Hope Haven of East Texas Jamie Sanders said, “The girls who come to Danielle’s Home of Hope will either have just been removed from an abusive situation and brought in to foster care or will have been in another foster care placement that has failed, but they don’t have a long term home to go to yet.”

Faye Wardlaw is Danielle Jones’ mother, whom the house was named after. Jones dedicated many years and hours to helping children. She was killed in an ATV accident in 2015, but her dream for this home was born long before. Now her family and Hope Haven of East Texas are making it a reality.

“Tammy (Wardlaw’s sister) and Danielle would sit and talk about how they were going to run it, the changes they were going to make because certain things a shelter needed,” Wardlaw said. “Some of the kids that came from emergency shelters would tell them, be like this and not like this, so they were making their notes.”

Wardlaw said there are many phone calls with her daughter she remembers.

“The one that really stuck with me was when she called and said, mama, and she’s crying and I can hear the child crying in the background and she’s tending to it, and she says we can do better than this. We can do better than what this is,” Wardlaw said.

Sunday afternoon members from the community got to pray over the home and hear more about the dedication. This home is their step toward better. It has three bedrooms, two baths, an office, kitchen and two living spaces. In total, it can house seven girls, ages 5 to 17, at a time.

“We will have a staff of eight direct care staff members. They’ll be awake 24 hours a day to meet the girls’ needs,” Sanders said. “We have a case manager who cares for the needs of each girl and acts as a liaison between the girls and CPS. We’ll have a residential staff manager and an administrator.”

Sanders said they see new children coming into the system everyday. It can take a while to find long-term placements for them.

“Many times these kids will end up spending the night in CPS offices, or in hotel rooms and the uncertainty of being in places like that after the trauma that they’ve experienced being removed from their families causes even more fear in them as they make that transition,” Sanders said.

The renovations have taken about five years. Sanders said the home is owned by Jones’ family members and they lease it to Hope Haven of East Texas to manage the operations out of.

“I am overwhelmed with joy and that contagious smile of my daughter, I know she’s smiling down from heaven right now and just saying, ‘Good job,’” Wardlaw said.

Sanders said their projected day for having girls in the home is October 3.

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