Foster the Village gets more space to help foster families

Clothing racks at Foster the Village, a resource for foster parents in Brown County
Clothing racks at Foster the Village, a resource for foster parents in Brown County
Published: Nov. 18, 2022 at 5:58 PM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Foster parents in Brown County are getting a new, top-notch space to stock up on necessities.

Foster the Village is moving to a larger location to accommodate the rising number of foster children in the area.

The non-profit organization provides clothing and other basic necessities, like diapers and shoes.

“You bring them here and -- seeing their faces and seeing them smile and being like, ‘Can I get this?’ and you’re like, ‘Yes, you can get this. This is for you!’ -- it just makes them feel so valued and special,” Dusti Evans-Klukas, a foster parent, said.

Four-and-a-half years ago, Foster the Village set up shop at the East Port Center on Main St. in Green Bay.

This year it began the “Foster the Future” campaign, trying to raise $750,000 to help with renovations and operating expenses for the bigger location.

“Because of the overwhelming need and response from foster families just from this community, we were able to lease this new space, so this really quadruples the space for us,” executive director Cheri Salmon said.

Since 2018, the number of foster children in Brown County has risen 49%, meaning the need for basic necessities has increased as well.

Foster the Village has already transformed some of the rooms in its new location inside the former St. Jude grade school on Division St. in Green Bay.

A few of the volunteers are former students of the school. Being there brings back fond memories.

“When we came in this building, we could tell you our 1st grade teacher, Sister Kevin; 2nd grade, Sister Theresa, Sister Margaret Mary; and it’s just an awesome place to have the foster closet. It’s bright, it’s airy, it’s welcoming,” Chris Weid said.

Foster the Village plans on being fully operational in its new location by next month.