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I am a foster parent of 2 and I would like to open up a Group home "Safe Haven for the children here in MEMPHIS,TN.
I'm looking for advice/support on where to start? Im looking for help with funding as well with licenses/permits
etc. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

            Thank you for writing to us at the Community Tool Box with your valuable question, and please excuse our unforeseen delay in responding to you.  
            We applaud your goal, and the efforts you are making to reach it. And when you ask about how to get started, we would say that you have started already, for one of the first steps in community work is identifying a need you want to fill. You’ve done this.
            But to respond to some of the other points you raise:  
*          Licensing and permitting issues around group homes are usually dealt with on a local basis.  This means it should help you to learn about the Memphis city departments who are responsible for reviewing and approving licensing and permitting applications.  You can find a friendly city official who can explain the local regulations to you, and/or you can find other housing operators in Memphis who have dealt with the same situation, and learn from their experience.
*         Many of your potential funding sources will be local as well. Some questions to ask yourself: What does the city budget look like?  What part of the city budget deals with housing, and the type of housing you envision?  Has the city funded projects like yours before?  How can you emulate their success?  How have other group homes in the city created their funding?  Are there special aspects of your project that would make it unique and distinctive from others? Also, what other local sources of funding might there be outside of city government? Can you locate some private philanthropy sources?
            That’s a lot of questions. But again, if you or any of your supporters can develop a personal relationship with a well-placed city official or other potential funder, he or she may help you with these questions, and that can be so worthwhile.
            It would be good to investigate state and federal sources as well. On a federal level, one place to start might be by researching the resources of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and in particular its service called HUD USER. Check it out at https://www.huduser.gov/portal/firsttimevisit.html.  For a newcomer to do this may take some persistence, but it may pay off in the long run.
*          More generally, it should definitely be helpful to get support and advice from others who have established group homes and safe havens in the city. Seek them out, talk to them, and learn from them.  You may well find that they welcome your interest, because there is plenty of need to go around.
*          And it will also be valuable to find others who could work together  with you on the project, to provide both support, ideas, and concrete help. You don’t have to do all the work alone – it’s often more enjoyable and more effective when the work is shared.  Your supporters could become your unofficial advisors, and maybe later serve on your Board of Directors!
            In addition, the Community Tool Box offers some general background materials that might be helpful to you.  In particular, you might want to look at Chapter 18, which is called Deciding Where to Start. See especially Section 1 in that chapter, on Designing Community Interventions, at https://ctb.ku.edu/en/table-of-contents/analyze/where-to-start
            The various sections within Chapter 19, on Choosing and Adapting Community Interventions, should also be helpful, See  https://ctb.ku.edu/en/table-of-contents/analyze/choose-and-adapt-community-interventions.  All of this material – including other Tool Box chapters and sections on funding – can be freely viewed and downloaded from the Community Tool Box table of contents.
            We hope these thoughts may be helpful to you. Thanks again for being in touch, and all best wishes for great success in creating a secure and loving home for the many children who need it.

Question Date: ی., 04/16/2023