Neosho homeless shelter helps residents get back on track

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NEOSHO, Mo. — A Neosho homeless shelter is doing its part to better the lives of others.

The Restoration Life Center in Neosho currently has 22 residents under their roof, 20 of which are now employed.

Before last year, Restoration Life Center in Neosho, with the help of other agencies, would rush into finding their residents an apartment. Now, they’ve changed how they do things.

“I’ve been involved in Restoration Life Center since 2012, but in the last year we’ve made a big shift to learn how to break the cycle of homelessness,” said Karen Sprenkle – Restoration Life Center Executive Director.

That change — adding more staff, including an executive director, and case managers.

This allows them to go further into the needs of their residents so they can better assist them.

“If they need drug counseling, if they need budgeting classes, we do all of that. So, it’s not just a thirty day emergency shelter anymore, we can, someone could possibly stay up to 15 months or longer,” said Sprenkle.

Giving restoration life center the ability to help residents like Dawn Wolford, who says she’s never felt better.

“I have not felt this good in 42 years of my life. It has given me the confidence I’ve never had before, it’s given me just the willingness to keep moving forward and to find myself again,” said Dawn Wolford – Restoration Life Center Resident.

Wolford adds it’s not just her, but anyone can change if they allow themselves too.

“I try to encourage them every day. Just telling them it’s a big change at first, but keep taking those little steps. It’s just those little steps that will add up to progress. more and more progress, and they’ll get there,” said Wolford.

Wolford adds, while she’s grateful for everything the shelter has done for her, she’s most thankful for a roof over her head and three meals a day.

Although the shelter has improved its operations, it’s still hiring for another case manager, thrift store manager and a “third shift” position.

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