Reuniting families: Local couple’s nonprofit moves to new home in downtown Noblesville


A Westfield couple recently celebrated moving their nonprofit to its new home in downtown Noblesville.

The Cooper House, whose mission is to support the reunification of foster children with their birth parents, recently moved into its new location at 444 Lafayette Rd. in Noblesville. The building was formerly known as the Smith House.

The Noblesville Chamber of Commerce and the City of Noblesville held a ribbon-cutting ceremony May 16. The Cooper House previously operated at 239 S. 8th St.

The Cooper House began to take shape in the fall of 2019 when Executive Director Brooke Howe formed a board of directors and hired Charitable Allies, which helps startup nonprofits and guides them along the way. The Cooper House was established as a nonprofit in December 2019 and began operating in its former location in April 2021.

“Our mission is to come alongside families working toward reunification to ensure that they know they can reunify with their kids, and we’re there to help encourage and pray for that and plant seeds of hope in the meantime,” Howe said. “The goal is to point people to do this and hopefully give them an abundant life.”

The Cooper House provides free visitation space for families working toward reunification in a home-like environment.

“Parents are encouraged to do home-like parenting things with their kids here,” Howe said. “We encourage cooking with your children. If parents want to bathe their children, there’s a bath and a shower. They can lay them down for naps. They can play games with them. They can play in the backyard on the swing set or throw a ball back and forth. We encourage a family environment where memories and relationships between parents and children can be strengthened.”

Howe said the dream has been in the making since 2017.

“We became licensed foster parents in July 2017,” Howe said. “On that first day of being licensed, we got called for our first set of siblings who were in the foster care system. They were ages 1 and 2, and we already had three biological children aged 2, 4 and 6. Through that experience of being a foster parent, God revealed to us this vision and idea of the other side of foster care.”

Through their experience as foster parents, Howe realized the importance of foster children knowing their birth families and where they came from. They learned that many birth parents need help and support during the reunification process.

“We got to know Bryson and Harlem, our two foster children, and we also got to know their birth parents,” Howe said. “When they would visit their biological parents, we would drop off the boys and interact with them, and we built this lovely relationship. We just realized these families need extra support. We learned so much, and it became a question of how we can fill the gap in the system.”

The nonprofit is named after Bryson and Harlem’s biological mom.

“I remember sitting down with their birth mom one day and asking, ‘If there was a place where you could go for extra support, encouragement, prayer and love, would you go?’ And she said, “Yes, but I don’t know why people would care,'” Howe said. “A lot of times, I think families and these parents think they’ve messed up, and nobody wants to help them out of that. God used this family, my sons and their birth parents to bring about this vision and ministry.”

Since 2020, The Cooper House has served nearly 375 households and 700 children.

Howe said she chose to operate out of Noblesville because her foster children, Bryson and Harlem, were Hamilton County placements. She has formed a good relationship with the Hamilton County Department of Child Services. The building is also conveniently located next to the courthouse.

“Some of the time our parents are familiar with the courthouse, and we wanted to be close by there for that. We serve Region 11, which in foster care terms is Hamilton, Madison, Tipton and Hancock counties,” Howe said. “We felt like Noblesville was a central place for those surrounding counties so those families could utilize Cooper House. We also serve outside of those counties. We don’t say no if we have the availability.”

Howe’s husband and co-founder of The Cooper House, Kyle Howe, said he hopes the new location will become a permanent resource for the community.

“My hope and prayer is that our new Noblesville location will allow us to serve more vulnerable families in Hamilton County and the surrounding areas,” Kyle Howe said. “We do not ever want to turn a family away. Our goal is to share the love, support and encouragement found only in Jesus Christ with our neighbors in their time of need.”

Brooke Howe said her primary goal is to reach more families in need.

“With a bigger space, we’ll be able to accommodate more families at once,” she said. “With the different programming we do and having the home-like environment to lessen the traumatic situation that’s currently going on in their lives, we can accommodate visitations and emergency removals as well as parents who need support coming in and out throughout the day all at once.”

For more, visit

From left, Stephanie Smith, former owner of the new Cooper House building, and Brooke Howe, when the Howe family purchased the home last year. (Photo courtesy of Brooke Howe)


As a nonprofit, The Cooper House is solely funded by the community, donors and partnerships. Each year for the past four years, it has held a fundraiser in September to engage with the community.

This year, the Bright as a Noonday Soirée fundraiser will be from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Sept. 14 at Lucas Estate, 5801 E. 116th St., in Carmel.

“It is a pretty big event with dinner, music, dancing and more,” Howe said. “The fundraiser helps raise funds to foster hope for children and families in and around our community.”

Tickets are $165 and on sale now at