Empowering strong communities in rural Missouri

(Left) Curator Keith Holloway, (front) Deborah Jones and Bishop Jamie Jones, (behind center) Gov. Mike Parson

While in the Bootheel, I was pleased to attend the opening of an important new facility in Caruthersville. The New Day Recovery Center is a project of Divine Holiness Outreach Ministries (DHOM) and will offer housing and job training to individuals seeking recovery from drug and alcohol use. DHOM is a local partner for MU’s ParentLink – a unit of the College of Education & Human Development that is based in the Bootheel – and this new center offers an additional way to reach community members.

Over fifteen years, ParentLink has developed strong relationships in rural southeast Missouri. Partnering with trusted community organizations like DHOM helps more parents and caregivers access the no-cost assistance provided by ParentLink. A dedicated team of ParentLink navigators offers a range of services in Caruthersville and throughout the state by connecting parents to vetted resources that meet their needs, providing evidence-based information and helping them navigate barriers encountered along the way.

(Left to right) President Choi, ParentLink Kinship Navigator Nan Macklin, ParentLink Associate Director Freda Kershaw, ERASE Foundation board member Robert Whelan, Jill Styles, Curator and ERASE Foundation board member Keith Holloway, ERASE Foundation board member Herman Styles, former state Sen. Doug Libla, Elaine Libla, Interim Vice Chancellor Chad Higgins, Bishop Jamie Jones and Deborah Jones

Many leading state officials attended the event, including Gov. Mike Parson. University of Missouri Board Chair Michael Williams, Curator Keith Holloway, Curator Robin Wenneker and General Counsel Mark Menghini were also present. Curator Holloway is from the region and is a dedicated supporter and donor to the center’s mission. Other MU representatives included Chad Higgins, interim vice chancellor for extension and engagement, Bradd Anderson, ParentLink director, and Freda Kershaw, ParentLink associate director, southeast Missouri.

It was great to be in the Bootheel and celebrate this vital effort.

— Mun