The Guardian reports that the actor began mulling over the idea after the birth of his daughter in 2005, when he found out just how many children were in the foster system in the state.
“I found myself trying to imagine what it would be like if we weren’t around,” he said per the outlet.
Now, he’s broken ground on the village, where he plans to build 12 foster homes, two studio apartments that will help kids live independent lives as they get older, and a 7,000 square-foot community center. Bale also hopes this endeavor helps siblings stay together in foster care.
“Imagine the absolute pain and the trauma of losing your parents or being torn from your parents, and then losing your brothers and sisters on top of that,” he said. “That’s no way to treat kids. And so, we will be the hub for that. I hope that this village will be the first of many, and I hope that people, Californians and Angelenos, know to come join us in opening our eyes to what’s happening right under our noses. These are our children, and we must help our children.”
Bale hopes to have the $22 million project completed by 2025. The village is located in Palmdale, 60 miles north of Los Angeles, and is being led by Bale’s organization, Together California. No property like this exists in California at the moment.
“I was stunned and mad to learn that we have more foster kids here than anywhere else in the country,” he added. “My wife and I decided that we were going to do everything we could in our power to change that.”
Bale said the inspiration behind the development is his late father, David, who was extremely philanthropic and who was also an environmental activist. “I just admired the hell out of my dad in that way that he went out of his way to care for other people.”
Though he’s taken a break from acting, the 50-year-old is gearing up to start production on Maggie Gyllenhaal’s Frankenstein film starring Jessie Buckley.