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Foster child neighborhood breaks ground in Corpus Christi

Officials line up to turn the dirt at groundbreaking ceremonies for The Ranch, a 24-home neighborhood for foster children and their families being built by the nonprofit Agape Ranch. Ceremonies were held Jan. 20. Screen-captured image

Construction of 24 homes for foster kids at Agape Ranch in Corpus Christi officially began with a lineup of officials turning over shovels of dirt at a Jan. 20 groundbreaking. Paulette Guajardo made it her first official event as the newly sworn-in mayor of Corpus Christi. Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales recessed a Commissioners Court meeting because “it was important for me to be here today,” she said.

The nonprofit Agape Ranch supports foster children and families in the Coastal Bend region. Located off of CR 33 and FM 43 near London Independent School District, the new neighborhood will provide homes for foster children who have aged out of the system and need support while pursuing college or trade school. Homes will also help keep siblings together and provide supportive respite care.

“The 24 homes that will be on The Ranch are built with the purpose of telling children they are valued and there is a hope for their future,” said Agape Ranch Executive Director Susan Klaus.

A foster family has already been chosen for the first house, which has been framed. Tamara and Jason Wilson will take in foster children in the home. They have two adopted foster children and have cared for 16 children in their time in the program.

Fundraising for the homes is ongoing. Donations may be made online at the Agape Ranch website.

Construction so far has been made possible through grants from the Moody Foundation, the Blanche Davis Moore Foundation, a 5K run in March, the Agape Ranch Legacy Gala in September, and presenting sponsors Chick-fil-A of the Coastal Bend and the Debre Family.

“We would not be here without fundraising, professionals volunteering their skills and time, and lots of prayer,” said Agape Ranch Community Relations Director Shannon Murphy. “We are hopeful for more partnerships in the Coastal Bend so we can build every home in The Ranch neighborhood.”

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