POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) - Statewide more than 13,000 kids are in foster care, and last year southeast Missouri had more than 1,600 enter the foster program, more than any other region in Missouri.
Local foster parents said resources are limited in the region.
That's why Lori Ross, who's made helping these kids her passion for 30-years has brought her non-profit to the Bootheel.
On April 10, they held a grand opening.
"Our goal is trying to bridge that gap for the kids in the area and the families caring for them so we can create a better outcome," said Ross, who has fostered more than 400-kids and has adopted more than 20.
She's the President and CEO of Foster Adopt Connect, a non-profit working to support and advocate for abused and neglected children and the families caring for them.
"They can get a lot here they can get food and clothing, connect with furniture items," Ross said. "They can be trained in this beautiful training room they can connect with an advocate to help them navigate the system, but probably the most important that families are going to get here Immediately s a connection to each other."
Inside is a store called Sammy's Window where parents can come every month and get up to 7-outfits for each of their kids, adopted, fostered or biological.
Paula Massey is from Ripley County and has been fostering children for years, and is about to adopt three boys.
"This place is going to be one of my favorite stops because when they take away all of the clothing allowances and all that when I adopt them you know I"m going to have a stricter budget," said Massey
Ross hopes the opening of the center will get more families involved in fostering.
"I don't believe there are any more deserving children in the world than children who unfortunately through no fault of their own have been born into a circumstance with parents who are struggling," said Ross
"Foster parenting is the hardest job you'll ever have but it's the most rewarding, and places like this are going to be able to make it even better for kids to get out into the world and have a better start," said Massey.
Foster Adopt Connect is always looking for volunteers and donation for all information on the center click here for more information.