United Way Agency Spotlight: Lafayette House

We value a culture of giving and encourage our employees to Do Some Good. One way is through our annual United Way campaign, which has challenged our employees to raise $125,000 this year! Over the next few weeks, we’ll spotlight several incredible United Way funded agencies. Learn more about their stories and the effective work they do to help those who need it most in our communities.

Lafayette House

There is a safe place in Joplin, MO, where women, children, and families can go to seek refuge. Programs, resources, and support are readily available for those living in fear and at-risk situations due to substance abuse, domestic violence, or sexual assault. Last year, the Lafayette House served over 1,300 people in our community. Every woman, every child, and each family are forever changed by the help they receive.

“Lafayette House gave me my life back.”

Susan’s entire life was impacted by the assistance she received at Lafayette House. She was in an unhealthy marriage with three children, each of whom had varying degrees of special needs. Her family lived in a remote area with no electricity or running water. She reported that her spouse was controlling and emotionally abusive; he often threatened to leave and take the children. Susan didn’t drive, didn’t communicate with anyone outside of her home, and she felt isolated and alone. In an effort to protect her children, she filed for a divorce. However, she had nowhere to go and the abuse continued to increase.

When Susan first came to the Lafayette House, she couldn’t make eye contact with anyone. She spoke very softly and had no sense of self-worth. Immediately, a case manager offered her individual counseling and assistance in connecting to community resources. Susan was able to gain access to the resources she desperately needed: housing, transportation, food, utilities, clothing, as well as advocacy to navigate her ongoing divorce, school communications, and custody issues.

Susan’s Lafayette House story began in 2016. Today, she continues to participate in programs offered by the Lafayette House. She has gained self-confidence and is learning to feel positive about herself. Susan now laughs and is making friends. With full-custody, she is also able to provide a healthy home for herself and her three children.

Susan’s story now has a different narrative, one that includes hope for a happier ending due to the CHANGE the Lafayette House helped to create. She is forever grateful and so are her three children.

For more information about the services available at The Lafayette House, visit lafayettehouse.org