KC women’s shelter will open after company steps forward with unique donation

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Single, homeless women are some of the most harshly abused victims in the metro.  And there's often no place for them to find permanent help.

After more than a year of delays, the Kansas City Rescue Mission held a ribbon-cutting for a women's shelter last week.  However, the doors of the shelter were still closed.

The center will provide a safe haven for 20 women, but a few minor details stood in the way until Sunday.

Opportunity for life change lives behind the doors at mission's new women's shelter.

"We have watched the growing trend of homeless single women on the streets for several years," said the mission's Julie Larocco.

Unfortunately, for now the doors remain closed.

"The very small issue is sod.  We need 2,200 square feet of sod to place around this facilty before we can get an occupancy permit.  It really is that simple," Larocco told FOX 4 News.

The weekend rains have left the main entrance to the shelter very muddy, but inside the facility room after room of safety awaits for single, homeless women struggling with addiction and abuse.

Caroline Germann knows the women by name who need to be here, because for most of her life, she was one of them.  She ran away from foster homes and started selling sex to survive at the age of only 13.

"Hopping in and out of cars with strange men and knowing if I didn't, I didn't know what the outcome was going to be.  It was just a way of survival and not knowing if you were gonna live or die," she explained.

After four years on the streets on Kansas City,  Germann got help.  Now she will sit at the front desk and welcome women who are ready for change.

"I wanted to be a light for the women who come in here to let them know there is hope and you can turn your life around," Germann told FOX 4 News.

It's no accident that the shelter is only a stone's throw from women still in crisis, walking the streets of Kansas City.  But they can't come until they city issues an occupany permit and the mission didn't factor the sod into their budget.

As FOX 4 told viewers about their plight Sunday morning, a Shawnee, Kansas company made a generous and unexpected offer.

Larocco received an e-mail from Pat Pinkerton, the landscape division manager at Arbor Masters Tree and Landscape.  The company has agreed to donate and place the sod, which means as soon as the sod can be laid and the city inspector can visit the mission and issue the permit, the center can open its doors.

The details are still being worked out, but the donation means 20 women who desperately need a way out will soon find help and hope.

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