New Loving Grace home in Joplin is already having an impact

The Hampshire Terrace III Board is a non-profit group that once owned apartments for those with low incomes, but an open house was held today for their new mission.
The LovinGrace home at 1414 Euclid Avenue in Joplin will serve as a home for 8 young women in the community who do not have anywhere else to go, which is already having a positive impact on the first resident.
“I was worrying where I was going to stay, what I was going to do and it was a really big headache,” resident Tausha Barker said.
When the 23-year-old applied to live at LovinGrace, she did not know where else to turn.
“It is absolutely amazing to have somewhere that I can call my own, where I know I’m going to be okay, I’m going to be safe and going to be healthy,” she said.
This is a drastic change from where she had been.
“My mom died 2 years ago and my life was on a downhill spiral and this is the first stepping stone to something better,” Barker said.
Barker is now working on getting her GED and a part-time job. She says things are looking up for the first time in a while.
“I actually see the light at the end of the tunnel now, 6 months ago, I didn’t even see the tunnel,” she said.
Barker is just one of the many women staff members hope to impact.
“We hope to even save just one child’s life, to get her off the streets and get her self-sufficient,” board member Doris Smith said.
“It really is making a difference,” residential adviser Kylar Theilen said. “I think this is something that is going to be an amazing opportunity and stepping stone for a lot of girls, to get back on their feet.”
Besides having a new home, Barker will also have support. LovinGrace provides each girl with three mentors to act as a grandmother, mother and a sister.
“I get a mom, a grandma and a sister that mentor me, so that’s going to be really exciting to have that family,” Barker said.
And Barker knows she will always have support from her mom in heaven too.
“She would be so proud,” she said. “I see her smiling down at me right now, she is definitely proud of me. I’m actually becoming somebody.”
LovinGrace still has openings for other residents. Residents go through an interview process and must be alcohol and tobacco free.
If you would like to make a donation to the new home, some items on their wish list include the following: microwave, 2 lamps for living room, grill, sofa table, 3 laundry baskets, patio swing and furniture, DVD player, board games, books, 1 toothbrush holder, and pictures for bedrooms.