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7's HERO: Boise woman who adopted five children in need of a home, starts nonprofit dedicated to Idaho kids in foster care

There is a shortage of qualified foster homes in Idaho. Foster + Heart is dedicated to giving kids a safe space while they wait for placement.

BOISE, Idaho — In 2020, we brought you the story of Kate Wilson of Boise. Wilson longed to be a mother, but when that didn't happen for her, she decided to become a foster mom. She wanted to provide a safe, loving home for children in crisis. 

Wilson accepted a sibling group into her home, and months later, she was told all five children needed a forever home. The Department of Health and Welfare wanted to keep the siblings together, but who would adopt five young children? Wilson had already fallen in love with the kids, and without any hesitation, she applied to adopt them all. She was approved! 

Fast forward three years later, Wilson is now a single mom, raising five kids under the age of seven. She is mom to two adorable boys and three beautiful little girls.

"It's amazing, it's beautiful, I love every second of it. These kids are amazing and wonderful and I am just so blessed to be their mom," said Wilson.

Wilson is also a huge advocate for children in foster care. She has seen the crisis in Idaho, and so she decided to start a nonprofit dedicated to them. It's called Foster + Heart. She says the help is needed now more than ever.

 "So, obviously with COVID-19 and the housing market, I think we are just seeing more kids come into care. Our nation is in crisis. The state is seeing more kids than ever before," said Wilson. "I felt this prompting on my heart to start a home for kids in transition, so when they are removed from their families they have somewhere to go immediately so they are not sitting in offices just waiting for foster placement."

Foster + Heart has already gathered enough donations to secure the nonprofit's very first home here in the Treasure Valley. It's in a beautiful neighborhood, close to a park.

"We are in the process of licensing right now, and my family and I moved in so that we could just start taking on kids and bringing them into the home right away," Wilson told KTVB.

The goal is to provide an emergency home for kids for up to fourteen days before they are placed with a foster family, sometimes that process can take time.

"We want to come alongside the Department of Health and Welfare and help support them. They are already doing so much, so we want to support them in that process and kind of take the load off of them while they find the right home for the children," said Wilson.

Wilson has been raising money for Foster + Heart at her church, and out in the community. She says this first home is just the beginning. 

"Our ultimate goal is to have a home in every city in Idaho that is ready and capable to meet the needs of children entering into foster care," said Wilson. "We will have 24/7 staff here around the clock ready to greet the children and welcome the children. We will also open it up to volunteers coming in from the community. Maybe you can't foster in your home, but you can come to our home and help with craft time, snack time, and field trip time." 

Wilson said seeing her nonprofit come to life is incredible. 

"It's so surreal because this is a vision and a dream I had in my mind, and then to see it come to fruition is just unreal," said Wilson. "I feel like it's coming together at the right time when the community needs it the most."

For more on Kate's nonprofit Foster + Heart, and how you can get involved with her mission, check out her website.

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