Nacogdoches Co. woman hopes to create haven for foster girls

NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - There's the Boys Ranch in Nacogdoches County. Soon, pending licensing approval, there will be a  Girls Ranch.

It will be called Cross Bridge Ranch, an appropriate name considering the facility caters to children in the foster care system.

An auto and cycle show is setting up now at Fredonia Hotel for a weekend benefit to help raise money for Cross Bridge.

Casie Strain has turned 14 acres near Martinsville into a haven for 16 young girls caught in the foster care system.

"I can tell you first hand that they are not throwaway children," Strain said. "They are worth something."

Strain has an eye in seeing potential in just about everything, including the deal she found on two well-used FEMA modular homes.

"We just happened to have the money to pay cash and that was our main goal was to pay cash," Strain said. "We have made a point to make this as feminine and bright and cheerful as possible. Our goal is to make this the nicest place they have ever stayed."

The six to 14-year-old girls leave their homes through no fault of their own. They need lots of guidance, instruction and love.

"You have to understand their social skills are inept," Strain said. "They don't understand boundaries."

It's preparation for a move to more conventional foster homes.

"Put in some heavy supervision and teach the kids some social skills," Strain said.

Some girls won't receive foster parents or be adopted. They will have to move when they turn 15, but Strain says it won't be far.

"This is the future site of the transitional living," Strain said.

From there, Strain will prepare the girls for the rest of their lives.

"And start teaching them job skills, the life skills training," she said.

The mother of three girls of her own and a wife to a pastor is crossing her own bridge by a leap of faith.

"God called me to do it," Strain said. "That's all I can say. I'm not the type of person that would normally go out and do something like this, but I do feel like God called me to do it and I believe in it and I believe if one person's life can be changed than the whole thing is worth it."

Hotel Fredonia with the help of several sponsors is hosting an auto and cycle show tomorrow.

Vintage cars will be displayed inside and out. It's free and open to the public.

Strain will be there to answer questions about Cross Bridge Ranch.

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