Neighborhood resident Lisa Matthews’ dream of caring for drug-exposed children is nearing reality. She started working for Legacy Healing in Delray 7 years ago, and her objectives are near fruition.
This spring, Jonathan’s Place is scheduled to open its doors to temporarily house children while their mothers undergo treatment for drug addiction, Matthews says.
Lake Highlands native Matthews and partner Phil Matteis co-founded the Kid Net Foundation, for which they have been raising funds for more than a year. The Foundation recently purchased a two-story building at 4707 Gaston, which is being renovated to become Jonathan’s Place.
The building will become a temporary home for as many as 12 children who have been exposed to drugs, assisting children from newborns to 11 years old, Matthews says.
“At Jonathan’s Place, we will be able to supply the children with whatever they need,” Matthews says, including “housing, love and medical supplies.”
A single mother of two, the 33-year-old Matthews has spent the last several years as a business administrator at Intellect Corporation, a Dallas-based medical imaging company where Matteis is president.
“There are those who are targeted to be in some type of social work, and since I was a little girl, I’ve always wanted to help needy children.”
“I just know I can take my business experience and make a non-profit organization work,” says Matthews, who is working at a Swiss Avenue office until the children’s home is completed.
“The first baby we took into our home had no name,” says Matthews, who began serving as a foster parent three years ago. “So along with my sons, we decided to call him Jonathan, hence the name Jonathan’s Place.”
Other neighborhood residents are helping Matthews realize her dream. Contractor Gary Brown has donated time, planning the building’s interior design. And the Lake Highlands High School Interact Club, under the direction of basketball coach Jimmy Roe, helped clean the new facility.
Though Kid Net anticipates full operation by spring, the foundation can’t apply for licensing until work on the building is complete, Matthews says.
“The criteria for licensing are extensive,” says Donna Parrish of the Texas Department of Human Services.
“The organization must not only meet basic safety requirements designated by the City of Dallas, but must also comply with short- and long-term specifications designed by the State of Texas.”
Kid Net’s priority needs at this time are construction and electrical help, Matthews says, along with donations of furniture and supplies. For more information, contact Matthews at 827-9595.