Celebrities are often in the headlines for their missteps, or their financial successes. Especially with award season well underway, many stories are going to be about who might be getting what recognition. Some stories, though, are more meaningful than simply who is going to be wearing what dress at the Oscars.

A Secret Project

Christian Bale, the actor most prominently known for his role as the iconic Bruce Wayne in the Dark Knight Trilogy, has surfaced in the headlines for a surprising reason. He’s been working as an actor in recent years, yes, but his artistic pursuits are not the only thing that have been occupying Mr. Bale’s time.

Source: Wikimedia/Andrea Cangioli

The culmination of a special passion project recently came to light in California. Bale was joined in Antelope Valley with his wife Sibi, a small group of elected officials, and other tight knit supporters to break ground on an incredibly ambitious and passionate project.

A Foster Community for Minors

The project is a small village-type building project. It will feature 12 homes, two studio apartments for transitional housing, and a 7000 square-foot community center, all with a singular purpose: to keep siblings in the foster care system together, and under the same roof.

Source: USA Today via AP

This is a project that, according to Bale, has been 16 years in the making. It’s a first-of-its-kind project for California, and is estimated to cost approximately $22 million. It’s located in a city 60 miles north of Los Angeles, which has a population north of 160,000.

Addressing a Significant Concern About Foster Care

The project addresses an issue that is, sadly, significantly prevalent in the United States. The foster care system, while admirable in its intentions of keeping children off the streets and reuniting families when the time is right, is unfortunately ill-equipped for the level of volume that it has seen in the last few decades.


The most recent data regarding the foster care system sees more than 600,000 children passing through foster care in any given year. Some of these children are in the system temporarily while their parents sort out circumstances out of their control, and some of them are in the system far longer than anyone intended.

Siblings Separated in the System

It is these situations that see siblings, unfortunately, separated. There is a shortage of qualified foster care homes in the United States, as well as regulations that prevent any one household from taking in too many children. This is to ensure that the children in foster care are getting the care that they need and deserve, but it has created a problem when multiple siblings are seeking homes.

Source: Together California

The village that broke ground in California is meant to address that concern directly, rather than simply appealing to politicians who have limited power to affect the problem. Keeping siblings together when in foster care has better outcomes for mental health, and it is an issue that affects many on a very personal level.

The First Project of Together California

This one housing project is not the only endeavor that Bale has gotten involved in regarding the foster system, either. He’s the celebrity face of the new foster village, yes, and he is also one of the co-founders of Together California.

Source: USA Today

The village is the first project of the new organization, with many more ambitious projects on the way. Bale and his co-founder, Eric Esrailian, have big plans for the future of Together California and what they can personally do to improve the foster care crisis in California.

Years in the Making

This has been a project that has been many years in the making. Bale first learned of the foster care crisis in Los Angeles County around 2008, right after The Dark Knight was released and his own daughter was three years old.

Source: Wikimedia/Cristiano Betta

At first, he had a very idealized version of what the project might look like, which the actor freely admits. He didn’t think that it would take as long as it has to get the project off the ground, but the process has been completely worth the effort.

A Wonderful, Charitable Example

Bale told the press that his late father, David Bale, was one of the many influencing factors that led him to this charitable endeavor. During Bale’s childhood, his father welcomed many different types of people into their home, people who were down on their luck or simply needed a helping hand.

Source: USA Today

This charitable example, as well as Bale’s interest and passion about the foster care system, are what drove him to develop this project. “Foster care has always been an important issue to me and I’m aware of similar models in the U.S> and globally, and it’s been a goal to bring it to California,” Bale said, in a statement.

Together California as a Fully-Licensed Facility

Together California will have fully trained and licensed foster parents operating in each home, caring for up to six children under one roof. This is an ideal size that allows for each child to get the care and attention they need, while allowing for larger sibling groups to stay together under one roof.

Source: USA Today

Katheryn Barger, a member of the LA County Board of Supervisors, thanked the city of Palmdale for its contribution. “Keeping siblings in foster care together in quality environments will undoubtedly bring life-changing stability to some of our most vulnerable youth,” she said in a statement.

A Real-Life Batman

The foster care village is set to be completed by 2025, and Bale and his partners hope that it will be the first project of many to help address the foster care crisis in California. The positive press and generous donations have made the project possible, and Bale and Esrailian hope that there are more like it in the future.

Source: Wikimedia/Asim Bharwani / Martin Kraft

It’s a story of hope and of celebrities doing good with their brand recognition and good fortune. In a world that can seem increasingly bleak, sparks of positivity like the Bale project help to remind us that not everything is as it seems, and there are always those out there willing to do some good.