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Vandalism pushes back timeline for homeless housing project for women, children in Kansas City

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Erin's House
Posted at 10:23 PM, Aug 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-25 12:10:31-04

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On the corner of Benton Boulevard and east 7th Street in Kansas City, Missouri, this is no regular home.

"A former homeless camp, two feet of debris on the floor, burnt out and so trashed," said Marcy Langhofer, founder of the Do Good for Erin foundation. "It's been fun to watch it come back to life."

Gallery: Erin's House

One could say the rehabbed house needed some healing.

"All of the houses we have, they all have their own story," said Elise Hall, peer specialist with the Healing House.

Hall and other people who have gone through the Healing House's recovery program would tell that story well.

"I was in my act of addiction for 15 years," she said. "I went through college and was introduced to Adderal and OxyContin."

Marcy Langhofer comes from a different place.

"I am Erin Langhofer's mom, this house is being built in her honor or remodeled in her honor," she said.

Erin Langhofer
"Erin's House" honors 25-year-old Erin Langhofer who was caught in the crossfire and killed at First Fridays four years ago.

This is Erin's House.

"Erin was 25 years old when she was tragically killed at First Fridays in Kansas City," her mother said. "It's a loss I'll never recover from."

Erin was a counselor for women at Healing House and worked with victims of domestic violence. They were three months from being able to give women and their children shelter there.

Erin Langhofer
25-year-old Erin Langhofer with her family.

"I'll never forget my husband gave me a call. I was out of town and he said, 'You're never going to believe what happened.' Erin's house was broken into last night and all the copper wiring and HVAC was stolen," Langhofer said.

It was on track to be completed in November, until they walked in to the damage last Thursday. They estimate delayed completion and a $50,000 loss.

A part of healing, is also being open to forgiveness and according to Hall, wanting those responsible to get the help they need.

"There's no words to describe the feeling," Hall said. "I've been in that position where I was stealing and in that lifestyle where I needed to get all I could get for myself."

An even better feeling will be months from now when the house is finally a home.

"There will be tears," Hall said. "There will be tears."

Erin's House will be home to 16 homeless mothers and children when it's complete.

They received a generous donation of a security system from Titan Protection, but they're asking for donations from the community to help them out.

The Do Good for Erin Foundation is also raising money to furnish the house and support the Healing House.