WASHINGTON COUNTY, Va. (WJHL) — Supporters and community members gathered in the McGlothlin Center for the Arts at Emory & Henry College for the campaign announcement for an Isaiah House in Washington County.

The campaign announcement kicks off the awareness part of the campaign: telling others about Isaiah 117 and what it can do for the community.

Founder and development director of Isaiah 117 House, Corey Paulson, told Isaiah 117’s origin story.

Community members gather to learn about Isaiah 117 House.

Washington County is the first Virginia county Isaiah House will be established in.

In Tennessee, the Department of Children’s Services (DCS) is having a hard time finding places for the children in their care to stay. Northeast Tennessee Regional Coordinator for Isaiah 117, Julie Dixon, says this is a nationwide issue.

“It’s really exciting to see [Isaiah 117] come into other counties,” says Dixon, “We’re excited because we know kids are sleeping in the DCS office in Washington County, Virginia.”

The Washington County volunteer, Megan Hamilton, is spearheading the county campaign and hopes her voice can help strengthen those who feel powerless.

“Because I am in a place now where I’m owning my story and using my voice because I want them to know that it is possible to move forward in a healthy way,” says Hamilton.

Hamilton says she experienced abuse and neglect growing up, as well. She knows that community is the most important part of the campaign’s success. “To have a community back them, to have that support system, is huge in that recovery piece. That human connection,” says Hamilton.

Julie Dixon and Megan Hamilton speak with community members after the presentation.

Isaiah 117 will hold an expansion meeting on October 18 at 6 p.m. in the Appalachian Center for Civic Life on the Emory & Henry College campus.

Those interested are welcome to come to this meeting. At the meeting, they will begin separating into committees that will be in charge of different aspects of the campaign.

Until then, if you’re interested in volunteering, contact Megan Hamilton at megan.hamilton@isaiahhouse117.com.