Christian Bale Breaks Ground on Community for Foster Kids

He's been working on project to keep siblings together for 16 years
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 8, 2024 9:40 AM CST
Christian Bale Breaks Ground on Community for Foster Kids
Christian Bale and cast members in "The Pale Blue Eye," share a laugh at the premiere of the film, Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022, at the Directors Guild of America in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, File)

Christian Bale broke ground Wednesday on a project he's been pursuing for 16 years—the building of a dozen homes and a community center in Los Angeles County intended to keep siblings in foster care together. The Oscar winner stood with a grin and a shovel full of dirt alongside local politicians and donors in the decidedly non-Hollywood city of Palmdale, 60 miles from Los Angeles. But Bale, who was Batman in director Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, wasn't just playing Bruce Wayne and lending his name and money to a charitable cause. The project was his brainchild and one he's long lent his labor to, getting his hands dirty and on Wednesday standing in actual mud after a historic storm on a hard-won site.

"I would have done it all if it was just me by myself here," Bale tells the AP. The British-born Bale has lived in California since the early 1990s and sought to build the community after hearing about the huge number of foster children in LA County, and learning how many brothers and sisters had to be separated in the system. That was around 2008, the time of The Dark Knight, when his now college-age daughter was 3 years old. "I didn't think it was going to take that long," he said. "I had a very naive idea about kind of getting a piece of land and then, bringing kids in and the brothers and sisters living together."

But he then learned "it's way more complex. These are people's lives. And we need to be able to have them land on their feet when they age out. There's so much involved in this." Bale visited Chicago and spent several days in children and family services meetings. From there, he recruited Tim McCormick, who'd set up a similar program, to head the organization that became known as Together California. The 12 homes, anchored by the community center, are set to be finished in April 2025. "It's something that is incredibly satisfying for me, and I want to be involved every step of the way," Bale said. "I'm quietly hoping that there'll be many of these."

(More Christian Bale stories.)

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