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UMTV: Grace House Heals Families



Members of a church looked across the street and saw an abandoned house as an opportunity. Volunteers turned that house into a place of hope for families in transition.

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(Locator: Millsboro, Delaware)

Claire: "I've overcome domestic violence, alcoholism, drugs in my life, not having a God of my understanding in my life. When you're down like that it's hard to look at the future. I just met the right people that wanted to help us out."

The Rev Ed Kuhling, Grace United Methodist Church: "The whole idea behind the Grace House is that we wanted to offer someone a place where they could feel like they are at home. My name is Ed Kuhling. I'm the pastor at Grace United Methodist Church in Millsboro, Delaware. The property next door to our church was a mess, with the grass being really high and it looked like it really needed a lot of work. We got to thinking, 'maybe we could use it for a ministry at Grace Church.'"

Claire, Grace House Resident: "Hi, I'm Claire. My daughter and I- Sara- have been living here at the Grace House for two months now. Before I came to the Grace House I didn't know where we were gonna sleep, where we were gonna eat, where we were gonna shower, and I was very distraught, I had no hope."

The Rev. Ed Kuhling: "Someone in our church knew Claire, we interviewed with her and after the interview we just realized that she is a person that is really trying, with everything that she has to make a better life for her and her daughter."

Pastor greets Claire: "Good morning. "Hi, how are ya?" "Good to see you too." (hug) "C'mon in." "Thank you."

Claire: "The family of the church have just been&ellipsis; I feel like they've taken us under their wings."

The Rev. Ed Kuhling: "The church volunteers did everything, from repairing the bathrooms, painting, spackling, ripping out cabinets."

Church Volunteer: "We just try to help people get started everybody needs a little jump start once in a while."

Church Volunteer: "Claire is in. We're fixing up the upstairs, so that we can move our second family into the Grace House."

(Claire meeting with financial counselor) "When I first came here I moved into a sobriety house."

Jason Hastings, Grace Church Financial Counselor: "You know, Claire moved into the Grace House and it's nice that we're providing a house but that's basically not enough. My name is Jason Hastings, a financial counselor here at Grace."

Jason to Claire: "So, I understand that you work two jobs? Yes I do. So what do you do at these jobs?"

Claire answers: "The full-time first income is from a chicken plant. I fry and bake chicken there."

Jason: "Part of our program is to teach Claire or any individual who stays at the Grace House how to manage their money. That way, when they leave, the Grace House wasn't just a temporary solution, it was step toward being able to live independently."

Claire: "I'm just so grateful to be here and to have a home to come to with my daughter and to make her dinner and&ellipsis; (daughter laughing)&ellipsis; it's just overwhelming."

Sara, Claire's daughter: "I guess this is like normal for like kids, like this is the norm, get to come home get to live in your house with your parents, have your own room like, have your mom have her own room, like get to chill together."

Claire: "From six months to a year I think I'll be on my feet well enough. I envision Sara and I having our own home."

Sara: "&ellipsis;and then, someone else that needs this can come and live in here and we can all make the world go round."


Members of Grace United Methodist Church raised $60,000 toward the purchase of Grace House and an anonymous donor gave an additional $100,000 toward the project. For more information, contact Grace United Methodist Church at 302-934-7969.

Posted: July 19, 2012