This time on Beyond the Report, we visit with the residents of the New Legacy Home for Women. Each woman who walks through these doors, comes with a different story and set of struggles. Here, they get to press the restart button on their life. Shanna Hargrave, the Executive Director of New Legacy, started the organization about a year ago after realizing the need Lubbock had for an organization like this.
Shanna recalls the reason behind the home. “While working at the Dream Center, one of the things that we saw over and over was that there were women that really needed to change their life and they really wanted to, they just needed a place to start. That kind of started the vision for the new legacy home. There’s a real need for that in our city,” she says.
The New Legacy home is a Christian-based, structured program that is the first of its kind in Lubbock. In the early phases of development, Shanna and her team wanted to find out what our city needs and what worked in other programs around the country. From their research, this 15-month program was born.
Shanna says, “One of the biggest challenges that I think women are facing here in Lubbock is just finding the community to surround them in a healthy way.”
Community is a big factor in this program. The women cook together, they clean together, take classes together. They become a network of support for one another; something that felt very foreign to resident Kara McKay. After silently struggling to support her family while her husband was in prison, she hit a breaking point.
“About a year and a half ago,” Kara says, “The pressures of single mom just got to me. I went to happy hour a few times and then I got a taste of freedom. I went the wrong way. I was at the point where I was about to lose my house. We had no electricity, no water and I couldn’t pay my bills and so we had to move in with my mother and that was really really hard for me.”
Eventually Kara’s husband was released from prison, he sobered up and came home to the chaos his family was living in. He recognized the problem before his wife could and gave her an ultimatum: get help or get out.
She recalls, “I thought I was hiding it so well because I was working, and I was paying the bills as much as I could, meanwhile everything was falling apart around me and I didn’t realize it then.” But Kara sees it clearly now. Sometimes moms just need help.
“I put a lot on my shoulders and I refused to ask for help,” she says. “Cooking, cleaning, can you pick up my kids? Can watch my kids? Just help. Because I didn’t want another mother to think that I was less of a mother and I didn’t want my kids to think that I couldn’t do my job. I’ve said, I know why it takes two parent. It’s just too much.”
At New Legacy, she’s learned to let her guard down and let the people she’s surrounded by be her support. Shanna believes there is a solution out there for struggling women. “It’s just plugging in and finding that place where the people are walking the same direction you are that will support you on that walk,” she says. “I think that really makes all the difference. It’s not that there’s not a lot of those places to connect with, we have great resources here in Lubbock, it’s really the courage to do it.”
And Kara’s big takeaway from her experiences: “I’ve learned that I have to ask for help…god did not put us here alone, and there’s a reason for that and I think that if a lot more women will start humbling themselves and look in the mirror and say, I’m not perfect, I’m trying to be but I’m not and it’s ok to help.”
Watch the full story at BeyondtheReportLBK.com.