Local organizations help expand foster family home

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JERUSALEM TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WTVG) - Malori and Chad McCloskey have been fostering children for nearly 5 years now, and as their hearts grew, their Jerusalem Township home didn't. That's where Habitat for Humanity and the Professional Remodelers Organization stepped up.

"My wife and I are foster parents in the county," said Scott Hinz, president of the PRO. "We had a conversation and said for this year's President's Project, we'd like to somehow help another foster family."

Contractors, suppliers and more are all helping to add a 300-square-foot second-story addition to the McCloskey home. Hinz estimates a project like this runs about $60,000, though the cost has been greatly offset in this case.

"The roofing materials were donated partially by Habitat for Humanity, and also Owens Corning," recalls Hinz. "We have just about 95% of all the materials and labor donated at this point."

Malori and Chad have so far adopted 3 of the children they were fostering, and say that floor space has certainly been an issue. In fact, they were at a Habitat for Humanity event when they got the call: they had been selected for the President's Project.

"With the size of our home now, we didn't know if we could continue to foster," offers McCloskey, "and that was one thing that was really weighing heavy on us."

Their generosity couldn't come at a better time. In 2018, Lucas County Children Services reported a 16% increase in abused or neglected children compared to the year before, many coming from sibling groups.

As Malori puts it: "I have a really large family myself, 9 brothers and sisters, and I cannot imagine ever being split up from them... so that was our drive. We wanted to keep them together. The need is so great in Lucas County. A lot of times when a sib group comes up, they get split into different homes and they might not see each other."

The McCloskeys hope that, with a little help from the community, they can encourage others to foster or adopt, especially heading into the season of giving.

"We've had such great experiences helping the families that we've helped, that we really want to make sure we can continue to do that."

If you've been looking to foster or adopt a child, visit Lucas County Children Services.