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'You can feel Erin's presence.' New home for women dealing with substance abuse opens in Kansas City

Erin Langhofer
Posted at 9:48 PM, Mar 22, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo — There's a new facility to help women battling problems from substance abuse to mental health issues.

Healing House opened Friday afternoon at East 7th Street and Benton Boulevard in Kansas City, Missouri.

The house is known as "Erin's House".

Erin Langhofer was 25 years old when she was killed in April 2019, at a First Fridays event in the Crossroads Arts District.

She was a long-time volunteer at Healing House, a social worker and counselor for domestic violence victims at the Rose Brooks Center.

When you step inside, the bright colors, play areas, bedrooms and dining areas make you feel at home.

"People need a safe place to start a healing journey and you can feel, I think, God's presence and Erin's presence throughout the house," Bobbie Jo Reed, Founding Director of Healing House, said.

The Langhofers know the house doesn't tell you everything you need to know

You'd have to know their daughter, Erin.

"Erin had a beautiful smile. I've talked about that, but her insides were beautiful. Her soul, her spirit, her heart. I wanted this to be a reflection of who she was," said Reed.

After renovations were delayed several months because of vandalism, the house is ready as women seek help dealing with trauma, substance abuse disorder and mental health issues.

"To know we were here before the house was purchased and it was the roughest house you've ever seen," said Marcy Langhofer.

Erin's House
Pictures before the renovation of Erin's House are displayed in one of the bedrooms. Erin's father, Tom Langhofer, told the story of how they found the note shown in the picture laying on the floor. It was dated one day before Erin was killed and mentioned Judi Burkholder, a former ministry partner of Healing House.

Erin's House will be home to five women and their children.

They'll learn skills like budgeting, cooking and parenting classes.

"This is for generations," said Tom Langhofer, Erin's father. "Generations of families are gonna live here and leave here with hope."

If you pass by a couple blocks down Benton Boulevard and East 7th Street, you won't see all of the changes that have happened to this home.

That's because in Erin's House, the work is happening inside.

"Thousands of lives are gonna be changed here," Reed said. "I just know it."