Community Heroes: How a Google search led to the creation of a life-changing foster program

Community Heroes

(WJHL) — This week’s Community Hero took her personal experience of fostering children and turned it into a life-changing program for foster children, foster parents, and caseworkers.

Ronda Paulson and her husband were taking foster parent classes and saw a gap in care for children entering the foster care system.

“We were sitting in a room where a little girl had slept in,” Paulson said. “That was eye-opening.”

As they started fostering children, the Paulsons were troubled.

“In 2015, we took in our first placement,” she said. “He arrived with nothing. And learning that’s the norm, and being shocked by that.”

Paulson thought there had to be another way.

“So that’s where the idea (of Isaiah 117 House) came from,” she said. “What if there was a home where, on the day the child is removed, they could be lavishly loved on, and all their needs be met. And, what if there was a home where we could love on caseworkers and lighten their load, and what if there was a home that could help ease that transition for that foster parent.”

And one Google search is how Isaiah 117 House was born.

“All of that culminating in 2017 when I sat and Googled ‘How to start a non-profit,'” she said with a laugh. “Because if you want God to have the glory, you put someone ill-equipped in charge. And that’s how I got my job.”

And her job has grown. Isaiah 117 House now has five homes and several more planned. Paulson says Isaiah 117 House is a calling, and she marvels at how it’s helping so many.

“God kept saying, ‘Drop the rock, Ronda, drop the rock,'” she said. “And I let go, and this little bitty rock hit this body of water, and ripples. He said, ‘You dropped the rock, I’ll take care of the ripples.’ So every day, we get to watch ripple effects, and it’s a beautiful thing. It’s a good job.”

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