Dunklin County residents visit Vandalia
Citizens of Dunklin County have been among the 518 visitors to Agape House of Vandalia (northeastern Missouri) in the past year. The Agape House has been open since October 2004, and since that time has hosted over 8,000 guests. The facility provides overnight accommodations to visitors to the state women’s correctional center in Vandalia (WERDCC) and the men’s center in Bowling Green (NECC). This past year the Agape House provided lodging to visitors from 12 states and 43 Missouri counties.
Joe (not his real name) is from the northwestern portion of the state. He became the 8000th visitor to the Agape House when he stayed overnight in late October. He had traveled to Vandalia to visit his fiancée; she had learned about the guesthouse in the prison.
Following his four-hour trip to Vandalia, Joe stayed Saturday night and visited his fiancée on Sunday. With a full time job, he won’t be able to visit frequently but said he definitely plans to stay at the Agape House on his next trip. Joe commented that he enjoyed his stay at the Agape House; he found it to be clean, comfortable and quiet. He said he stayed in one of the downstairs rooms and commented that it was a great room and the price of $5.00 was a real benefit. The snacks and cereal provided for the guests were a pleasant bonus
Joe found the manager to be kind and helpful, explaining the house rules to him and making him feel comfortable. When she inquired as to any needs he might had, he felt especially welcomed.
The Agape House is a former church that has been remodeled to contain twelve bedrooms and six bathrooms. The bathrooms are located between two guest rooms, so they are close and guests only have to share with one other guest. There is a large common living room area with comfortable seating and a kitchen area with a table and chairs, refrigerator and microwave for the use by the guests. The manager is always present when guests are in the house.
Funding for the Agape House is provided by churches, civic organizations and individuals. The house also receives some funding from the United Way of Audrain County. Guests pay $5.00 per night ($2.00 for each child) to stay at the Agape House. More information and photos can be found on Facebook; reservations can be obtained by calling the house manager, Doris Donoho, at (573) 594-6755.