JOPLIN, Mo. — Ground was broken today (10/4) on a special project near downtown Joplin that will soon become a fun place for children.

A new park and playground for Souls Harbor will be located near the intersection of 9th and Main, on what use to be a vacant lot. The park is a first for the ministry. The plan is to have construction finished by the middle of November.

Many people don’t realize the Souls Harbor Ministry doesn’t just help homeless individuals, but homeless families with children.

This project is being led by Guaranty Bank, which has donated $10 thousand in order to get things started. Based in Springfield, Missouri, Guaranty Bank has several locations in and around Joplin.

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“We are so happy that Guaranty Bank is coming in and partnering with this,” said Dianna Gurley, Executive Director of Souls Harbor. ”As a matter of fact, they’re the ones sponsoring the park. So, it’s going to be (called) The Guaranty Friendship Park, and we’re very excited about it. It’s also going to be a wonderful advancement for the kids in our home.”

“Souls Harbor has been a part of the fabric of Joplin and this area for a long time,” said Guaranty Bank CEO, Monte McNew. “We’re just wanting to give back to the community and give kids an opportunity to be kids. We’ve got a lot of staff that enjoy giving back to this ministry and being part of it, and giving the time back, because it’s so important to our community.”

The bank will also make annual contributions to maintain the area.

By The Way: Even though Guaranty Bank is based in Springfield, McNew’s hometown is Joplin. He’s also a graduate of Joplin High School.