When Dan Hamer and his wife heard the story of a foster child who said he had been in more than 50 foster placements in five years, they were shocked.
"We knew that something needed to be done," Hamer said while standing on the site of what he hopes will be the solution.
The Bridge Receiving Center is both an organization and a building being remodeling off Route 92 in Lake Stevens. It will be a place for kids and teens entering the foster care system for the first time.
What is different about the center is that children will be able to stay there for 30 days while social workers get to know them better to find what next placement would bet the best fit, whether that's with family or a new home.
"Seventy-two hours is not enough time to locate a family member in most cases. So this provides 30 days to find that aunt who maybe she didn't answer her phone, but she's still a good candidate," said Hamer.
Trauma-trained counselors provided by Olive Crest, an organization that helps the state place foster kids in safe homes, will live at the center assisting kids to adjust.
Olive Crest is also providing the license for the Bridge Receiving Center as it gets established.
The Bridge Receiving Center is also near Cedar Springs Camp, and during their stay, kids will get the chance to participate in activities that help them have fun and build confidence, like rock climbing and obstacle courses.
"All of those activities are beautiful illustrations for kid’s lives entering foster care whose worlds were unsteady and uncertain and need to learn to trust other," said Tracy Rubstello, the center's director of development.
The organization is hoping to be open by January and welcome six boys, ages 6 to 10 into the center. That group is the most in need when it comes to foster children in Washington needing homes.
There are currently 1,655 children in the Washington foster care system with no placements and are living in motels or hotel rooms with two social workers.
According to Olive Crest's Executive Director Jeff Judy, Washington would need 30 percent more licensed foster families to take of the need.
The Bridge Receiving Center is a nonprofit and still needs to raise a few thousand more dollars to meet its January deadline.