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Anderson foster care home concept to be unveiled at Saturday event

A new home to house foster care children in Anderson County may soon become a reality and will be outlined Saturday morning during an event in Clinton.

The local effort through the organization Isaiah 117 House will be outlined beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday at the McRae Underwood Pavilion at the Anderson County Fairgrounds. Attendees are asked to wear masks.

An Isaiah 117 House provides a comforting home where children in foster care can have a safe and friendly place with the help of loving volunteers providing clean clothes, smiles, toys and snuggly blankets.

This space allows children to receive the comfort and care they need while staff from the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services can do the necessary paperwork and identify a suitable placement for these foster children.

There are currently three Isaiah 117 House locations in Tennessee with open doors in Washington, Greene and Carter counties.

There is one open-door home in Indiana. There are several homes in the Raising Awareness phase, including Anderson County.

Anderson, along with Monroe, Scott, Campbell, Morgan, Union, Roane and Loudon counties, is part of a region with the largest number of children in foster care in East Tennessee.

“When children are removed from their homes out of concern for their welfare, they are usually brought to the Department of Children’s Services offices to await placement with a foster family,” said Cassie DeJarnette, who is helping to lead the effort to bring the Isaiah 117 House to Anderson County. “This wait can be several hours to nearly a full day. These children often have nothing with them and are scared, lonely, hungry and in dirty clothing.”

Isaiah 117 House founders Ronda and Corey Paulson developed the idea of providing a safe and friendly environment after picking up their foster son at the back door of the children’s services offices in their hometown.

He was dirty, wearing clothes too small and literally had nothing in the world.

“We desire to lessen the amount of trauma on an already traumatic day,” DeJarnette said. “We are honored to bring this concept to our county, to partner with our local Department of Children’s Services and for the children.”

Rhonda Paulson will outline the Isaiah 117 House proposal in Anderson County during her Saturday presentation.

“We invite everyone to come on Saturday and learn about this wonderful program,” DeJarnette said.

More information is available by contacting DeJarnette,, Dana Hollifield, or calling 423-518-3760, Ext. 607. Information is also available on Facebook at isaiah117houseandersoncounty.