“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” ~ James 1:27
The James Project recruits and supports dedicated foster parens through the provision of homes and services.
The James Project is dedicated to living out Christ’s vision to care for displaced children in our community by assisting foster parents to create secure and loving homes for all children in need.
The James Project believes we can best help fostering parents and the children they serve through the provision of homes with 4-5 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms, enabling them to house a large family of foster children. These homes are owned and maintained by The James Project and are leased to fostering families for $1 per year. Our network of talented volunteers assist us in helping the families who live in these homes with weekly hot meal delivery, yard and housework and maintenance projects. We help in any way we can to allow the foster parents to pour more time, energy and love into their foster children.
In the summer of 2012 the High Pointe house became the first home purchased by The James Project. It already had 3 nice bathrooms and we were able to turn part of the basement into a 5th bedroom We have since had 2 backyard renovations to make this a great home for small children. As this was our first home, we learned the value of having an extra-large capacity washer and dryer set for a large foster family, which set the precedence to equip each of our James Project homes with these appliances.
The High Point house has had 2 families in residence and has served 21 children, with 5 adoptions . This home’s mortgage has been retired since 2013.
Our second home is a 120 year old gem in the historic Hawthorne Place neighborhood. This home had 4 bedrooms and a dormitory style 3rd floor large enough to allow us to take one of the smaller bedrooms and convert it to a 3rd bathroom. We were able to add a fence to the backyard and modernize the kitchen.
It is a house perfect for a large, loving family and this home has had two foster families, serving 38 children with 5 adoptions. It’s mortgage was retired in 2014.
This family friendly home was purchased in the early fall of 2018. As with the Lowell house, we initiated an Adopt-a-Room program that was a huge success. Groups from churches, businesses, families and friends joined together to accomplish an astounding renovation top to bottom. This home will also serve teens only, specifically teen girls. It’s foster family has been in the house for only 1 month, caring for their first foster daughter and her infant. With a lively 5th House Fund drive over the summer and a wonderful special donation from Cherry Hills Church, the home’s mortgage was retired in early 2019.
This large home, our 4th, is also located in the Hawthorne Place neighborhood and was purchased in 2014. We then began an Adopt-A-Room program to make updates to all of the rooms. Over 65 volunteers gave generously of their time and resources to “spruce up" the house. They worked tirelessly stripping wallpaper, painting, laying flooring and carpet, hanging curtains, cleaning, remodeling the kitchen, landscaping, setting up rooms, and many other time-consuming chores. Our friends at DreamMaker Bath and Kitchen also added a much needed 3rd bathroom. This home has served 13 children, including several sibling groups, and was paid off in 2018.
When the Board of Directors decided in 2014 to establish a foster home specifically for teenage foster children, we wondered where we would find foster parents who actually wanted a house full of teenagers—with the heartache and trauma that often comes with them. Because we knew we were looking for a very specialized family, we decided not to purchase a home for the Teen Project until we had chosen a family, thus letting them have some input into the home that would be right for their needs. When we met a couple that had been doing this for 10 years with love and dedication, we knew God was guiding our path.
This home has 4 bedrooms and 2 ½ baths. It has served 38 children for long term, short term and respite care. We retired the mortgage on this house in the autumn of 2015 and feel blessed to have this home as part of The James Project ministry.
When a child is placed with a new foster family, they very often arrive with only the clothing they are wearing. It is then up to the foster parents to find or buy necessities for the child—clothing, toiletry items, shoes, etc. The State of Illinois gives vouchers, but it takes many weeks to receive them and very few stores in the Springfield area accept the vouchers.
Closet 1:27 began as dozens of tubs of clothing in our Closet 1:27 founder, Sarah Homeier’s, home, and has expanded to a warehouse of items. Through donations, Closet 1:27 provides clothing, gift cards for shoes, beds, bedding, and necessities to newly placed foster children. How does it work? The foster parents of any newly placed child are given information about Closet 1:27 when they accept the child into their home. Their caseworker then contacts us and we put together an order based on the child’s gender, age, and size and deliver it to the home within 24 hours. This allows the foster parents to spend more time getting to know their new child, rather than having to go out and search out basic necessities for their child.
Foster children have already experienced so much heartache before arriving at a foster home. It is for this reason we want to give items that are in perfect condition to show just how much The James Project treasures them.
We also need volunteers willing to deliver items to foster families, and if this is something you can assist with, please check out our volunteer page.
We are frequently in need of the following items:
If you would like to make a monetary donation or host a clothing drive for Closet 1:27, please visit our Support TJP page.
The James Project is not only committed to supporting foster families, we are also committed to recruiting more foster and adoptive parents in our community. It is for this reason we established Call 1:27.
When parents begin to explore the option of fostering or adopting, they have many questions. The Call 1:27 ministry holds classes in local churches to educate and answer questions about fostering and adoption, and we also provide 1-on-1 mentoring based on the need of the family. Experienced caseworkers and actual foster and adoptive parents explain the process of becoming foster parents or adoptive parents. Local foster care and adoption agencies partner with us to help the many people who have approached us with questions about whether they should or could open their hearts and homes to displaced children. The James Project can come alongside these parents and be a valuable resource to them, and also direct them to pertinent resources.
If you would like to learn when the next Call 1:27 class is scheduled, please contact us and we will get you the information you need.
“The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” ~Proverbs 8
The James Project came into being because of a committed group of individuals who faithfully prayed for guidance and discernment as to how to best help the fostering families of Sangamon County. Their prayers continue to sustain us as we enter another year of service. We thank God every day for our prayer team and their dedication to lifting up the needs of our ministry!
Each week, a brief but informational email is sent out from the prayer team leadership to each person on the prayer team. It is filled with praises for what has taken place within the ministry, prayer requests from the board of directors, and scripture to uplift hearts. Urgent prayer requests are sent out on an as needed basis. To be added to The James Project Prayer Team, please contact us and we will gladly add you to the email list.
We are not all called to become a foster parent, but we are called to do what we can—and, we can all do something.