ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. (WJHL) — Isaiah 117 House held a groundbreaking for the expansion of its Resource Center on Wednesday.

The groundbreaking reminded the founder and executive director of Isaiah 117 House, Ronda Paulson, of when the organization first received the house for its Resource Center as an office space. That was back in 2019, from the non-profit’s humble beginnings in Tennessee with just two homes and four employees.

“I’m not kidding when I tell you, I thought there was going to be one house in Carter County, Tennessee and my job was going to be to run that house,” Paulson said. “I joke all the time, that’s what I thought I’d said yes to.”

Now, Isaiah 117 House is proud to announce its 100 employees and 53 locations in 12 states across the country.

A donation of $300,000 from Eastman Credit Union will go toward phase one of the expansion project: a national training center.

Soon, people from all over the country will be coming.

“We bring people here to Northeast Tennessee to train them how we do what we do,” Paulson said. “That’s what will happen in this training center. For years, we’ve brought them into (the Resource Center) and we’re just out of space.”

The Resource Center holds 12 employees, eight more than it was originally built for. The Training Center is phase one of a project to follow the growth of the organization.

“That’s the secret. It’s God’s people coming together and saying, ‘We want more for the children of our community,'” Paulson said.

Paulson believes the organization has grown because of three reasons: God, how much of a need there is for this type of care, and how powerful the entrance into foster care can be for a child.

Phase two of the expansion project will be connecting the Training Center to the Resource Center, and adding additional bathrooms, office space, and storage.

The Training Center is expected to be open in the summer of 2024.