LUBBOCK, Texas — Founder of Guiding Hope, Victor Sims, opened their first group home in town back in January and now is already looking to expand.

After being a part of the system for 12 years, Sims understands the unique challenges these children face.

“The system is a dark place for a lot of kids because it’s not meant to be normal,” said Sims. “It’s supposed to be a temporary system, that keeps the kids a lot longer than they are supposed to be there.”

Sims wanted to redefine what a group home should be by creating a temporary space to shelter, support and provide a family-like atmosphere.

“One of the things that makes me smile is most of the kids have defined this as a family already,” said Sims. “And that’s a hard thing for kids who have been given up on so many times.”

He says he was blessed to be adopted and now translates the lessons he learned from his mom in the household.

“Most of the rules we have in this house are based off the rules my mom made,” said Sims. “We had a lot of rough moments when I first moved in, but she just did it, she was there.”

They currently house two 17-year-olds, but Sims said they’re looking to expand to independent living as a way to show these kids they aren’t alone once they turn 18.

“I don’t care who you are or where you’re from,” he said. “There’s a way to show a kid you love them. If we can change the way children see this world, we change the world.”