JOPLIN, Mo. — An area family services organization has moved.

Lutheran Family and Children’s Services has changed addresses, moving to a much larger facility than before. Their new location on 15th St. in Joplin is four times larger than their previous location.

“In the Joplin office, we provide parenting services. We have home visitation, we meet with our clients, we help with parenting education, life skills, stress management, budgeting, helping them get back on track and come out of crisis to build their family stronger,” said Darci Peterson, Joplin Program Supervisor at Lutheran & Children’s Services.

The ministry provides a host of services at no cost to the client, centered around keeping the family together whenever possible. The statewide ministry started when a dying Civil War soldier made a request to a Lutheran minister.

“Reverend Buenger realized later that there were more children that needed these services. In doing so, he started an orphanage, and from the orphanage, Lutheran has expanded with many services now,” said Latizia Williams, Program Manager.

The organization is based out of St. Louis and has seven offices statewide, including one in Joplin, which opened in 2017.

“In our other offices, we couldn’t see clients, we didn’t have those safe spaces where they could come in, we were very, very crowded. So this current office is about four times the space of our previous office, so we’ve just grown and we have room for expansion,” said Peterson.