Halo opens its doors to give exclusive first look at new home for homeless children
JEFFERSON CITY —
Halo, a worldwide organization, will open it's doors to their new home in Jefferson City at the end of January in an effort to help more homeless children in Jefferson City.
Rebecca Welsh, founder of Halo, sat down with KRCG 13 for an exclusive interview and a behind-the-scenes look.
"No one knew that this was a problem. No one even had any idea. Even we didn't know," said Welsh.
Halo started about six years ago in Jefferson City working with at-risk children and discovered there was a huge homeless problem. The group found out there were more than 135 homeless children in the capitol city.
"It was shocking. Halo works all over the world and for this to be happening in our backyard, it was definitely a wake up call," said Welsh.
She explained that she grew up in Jefferson City and for her to know that there were local kids suffering the same way a child in Africa might suffer motivated her to help.
Construction on the former Rickman Center started in Spring 2016. The home has 24 rooms, kitchens, washer and dryers, and open living room space.
"The facility used to be a conference center and church camp. For us, it's the perfect setting for our girls." Welsh described the area as serene, set among trees with surrounding prayer trails.
Welsh said with the additional rooms they hope to house up to 48 kids at a time. They also plan to have house-moms living on site to care for the girls.
"We're serving youth right now ages 16 to 21 and also their dependents. So we have a lot of teen moms in the program. I would say 70% have babies of one or sometimes even two," said Welsh.
Halo has been flooded with applications and Welsh said they base their decisions on need and motivation to succeed.
"We are very strict on setting goals and in helping them get to the point to completely support themselves financially, education, spiritual - everything that makes a person whole," said Welsh.
But the organization needs the support of the community to keep the project going.
"It's such a big thing to bite off to be able to house this many youths that we need everyone in the community to be involved. Anything anybody can give counts. It matters. $5 matters. Any amount makes a huge difference to us," said Welsh.
She also said people can donate their time by volunteering. For more information on how to get involved, contact Halo at (573) 418-9912 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Halo will also host their annual fundraiser along with the grand opening of their new on March 3.