'This is crisis time’: Local foster group home overwhelmed during COVID-19 pandemic

TruLight Village is overwhelmed and in need of more supplies and food.

Kids at home (Pixlr)

SAN ANTONIO – There are many emotions for area foster kids and staff members at the TruLight Village group home during the coronavirus pandemic.

As of Thursday, the Cibolo-area nonprofit is completely full with 20 children that range from 1 to 16 years old.

“Everybody knows that there was no time to prep for this, it was just suddenly here,” TruLight Village director Sondra Ajasin told KSAT. “We had to increase our staff ratios because all the kids are home all day now, so we’ve had to make a lot of adjustments very quickly.”

While recent donations from community members have provided a temporary stopgap, they are still looking for more financial help and are in need of essential food, snacks, toilet paper and other items.

Another big struggle is that the organization can’t take on any more kids because it’s at capacity, but they are getting constant calls about children needing to be placed with a foster family right now.

The Trulight Village foster agency, TruLight 127 Ministries, has been seeing a lot of referrals because of domestic violence, drug use among guardians and a combination of the two.

“I would encourage foster families who have openings, doesn’t matter what agency your with, let them know,” Ajasin said. “This is crisis time for everybody and it’s not the kids’ fault.”

Child abuse will spike with stressed families stuck at home during quarantine, experts say

In the meantime, the staff is trying to keep the kids up to date on school work and keeping their morale up with fun activities.

“We’re trying to be creative with water parties, arts and crafts, and special treats,” Ajasin said.

If you like to donate food items, essential goods, and art and crafts to TruLight Village you can visit their website for information.

If you believe abuse may be happening, immediately call the Texas Child Abuse Hotline at (800) 252-5400.

COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new virus, stands for coronavirus disease 2019. The disease first appeared in late 2019 in Wuhan, China, but spread around the world in early 2020, causing the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic in March.


About the Author:

Erica Hernandez is an Emmy award-winning journalist with15 years of experience in the broadcast news business. Erica has covered a wide array of stories all over Central and South Texas. She's currently the court reporter and cohost of the podcast Texas Crime Stories.