Lenexa non-profit helping women grow after prison

LENEXA, Kan. — Original Post

A transitional home in Lenexa is changing the lives of women coming out of prison.

FOX4 first told you about them in January. GROW House opened their doors to it’s first resident in March, and we checked in to see how it’s grown the past eight months. Founder and Vice President, Lorrie Trout, had a vision when she started the non-profit.

“Grace restores overcoming women is to let them know you can overcome their situation,” Trout said.

GROW provides a free place to stay up to two years for specially selected formerly incarcerated women by the state and screened by the organization. It includes training, such as budgeting, support in bible study and mentoring. The process of getting back to a healthy life routine is something Trout went through herself years ago when she found herself in jail for a short time.

“When these ladies come they’ve got to have the mindset I’m going to try,” Trout said. “I’m going to try. That’s all we can do is work with them and point them in the right direction.”

“I like the fact that it’s mine, said Kellie McKallagat standing in her bedroom. “That it’s home.”

McKallaghat came to grow six months ago. She’s 15 months sober.

“My life was in complete chaos, and now I feel stable to know I have a home to go to, to know I have a job to go to,” McKallagat said. ” I’m a productive member of society now, where before, I couldn’t have ever said that.”

Karen Moore arrived at G.R.O.W. a week ago after a little over three years of incarceration.

“I was like, there’s a chance,” Moore said. “It’s my next step in life, and here I will have support in taking that next step in life.”

“We want to encourage them that just because they’ve been incarcerated and things look like they will never change.” Trout said. “We want them to know there is life after the fact.’

The kind of life that both Moore and McKallagat are working toward.

“I’ve thought about giving up,” Moore said. “I’ve attempted that road of suicide. It didn’t get me where I wanted to go. To me it just meant I guess I’m supposed to be here. I have a purpose. I just don’t know what it is yet.”

McKallagat recently put her name on the affordable housing waiting list. McKallagat says it could take a long time, but she will be ready when that time comes. She’s also working to regain her cosmetology license and work as an esthetician.

“It’s a different life. It is a very different life. Very different,” McKallagat said. “I love it.”

However, Karen is just re-starting her life.

“I’m gonna keep going,” Moore said. “I’m not giving up yet. Not giving up. It’s something I’ve got to do. I’ve got to do it for me.”

“You have to be willing to change,” McKallagat said. “That’s the biggest thing. You do have to be willing to grow.”

GROW is looking to expand with the help of funding through grants and private donations. Trout says she would like to open a second home and offer full time support to more women in similar situations. If you are able to help you can visit the non-profit’s website where donations are tax deductible.

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