About a month ago I received a Facebook message from Amanda Jones asking me to repost a giving campaign post for Grace’s Place Crisis Nursery. She said they were in danger of having to close their doors. I didn’t know much about what they do, but I knew they were located downtown. I looked them up, reposted the post and asked Amanda in turn if I could interview her for the blog. What better way to learn more about Grace’s Place, spread the word and share it with you than this? Amanda said yes and I met up with her last week. Read the interview complete with pictures below!
Located on 302 Lafayette Street, Grace’s Place looks like an ordinary downtown home.
I met up with Amanda at 10am and I liked her right away. I had tons of questions for her.
When was Grace’s Place established and what is it that you do?
Grace’s Place Franklin County Crisis Nursery was established in December 2010 as a 501(c)3. After securing our current location (through the City of Washington), applying for a pilot grant from the FCCRB, and appointing a Board of Directors, we opened our doors to begin serving Franklin County in December 2011. In January 2012 we became a licensed facility with the State of Missouri.
Grace’s Place provides crisis and respite care for up to 6 children at a time, ages birth to 12 years old, 24/7 at no cost to parents/caretakers who are experiencing a crisis or high levels of stress and cannot safely care for the needs of the child(ren) themselves.
The gilrs’ room at Grace’s Place.
Grace’s Place views a crisis as any situation that could potentially result in a child being abused, neglected, or their basic needs going unmet. We offer parents/caretakers a SAFE alternative so that children can be cared for and remain with their family. Our mission is to reduce and eliminate child abuse in Franklin County.
Parents/Caretakers can access services from Grace’s Place by either self-referring themselves or with the help of another community resource that may already be working with the family.
Since opening our doors we have provided crisis/respite care to over 170 children and 120 families. If a child receives care at Grace’s Place more than once they are only counted once, we do not count children that are cared for multiple times in our data.
The boy’s room.
Who can benefit from what you offer?
There are no socio-economic restrictions to receiving care at Grace’s Place. We understand that anyone, regardless of their income, can find themselves in a situation where they need help and have no SAFE individuals to care for their child(ren). There is no cost for services received at Grace’s Place.
Grace’s Place is just like a home for the kids in need. All meals are cooked right there, and the children receive the necessary attention and care.
How is Grace’s Place funded?
Grace’s Place is funded through grants (FCCRB, United Way, etc.), and donations from individuals, businesses, churches, civic groups, etc.
Just like any other household, Grace’s Place has monthly bills. Sometimes the funding they receive is not enough to cover the operational costs, that’s why small but regular donations are greatly appreciated.
How much money do you need to keep your doors open and how can people help?
Our current goal is to raise $10,000 by the end of May 2014 in order to keep our doors open and providing care to families.
With the help of kind-hearted individuals and organizations, Grace’s Place was able to reach their goal. However, in order to prevent this from happening again, they are looking to find some patrons who can make small monthly donations to help them keep their doors open.
Why is it essential that you collect the funds needed to keep functioning?
If enough funds are not secured, then we will be forced to close our doors. It is essential that we continue to provide services to Franklin County because the closest crisis nursery is 45 mins north of Washington. There are no other crisis nurseries in Franklin County, Gasconade County, Crawford County, Jefferson County, or Osage County.
Sometimes we don’t realize how blessed we are to have food on our table, a roof over our heads, and running water in our households. $20 a month might be a nice lunch for you, but it means a lot more to the kids receiving care at Grace’s Place.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Grace’s Place also provides crisis/respite care to families who do not reside within the limits of Franklin County as we are realistic that if we do not care for these families, there are no other local resources to assist them in their time of need.
There are over 300 children in foster care in Franklin County alone. We are striving to be a resource for families BEFORE a child is abuse and/or neglected. We are dedicated to providing support to families in order to reduce levels of stress, frustration, etc. so that no child has to become a victim and families can remain intact.
Sometimes a little hope is all we need…
Donations continue to be received through Grace’s Place Facebook Page and their website, as well as by mail (PO Box 83, Washington, MO, 63090).
It’s that simple.