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Heart2Heart presents to city

The mission of Heart2Heart Family Enrichment Center has expanded since Tamala Hardnett first came up with the idea of a ministry to help mothers in danger of losing their children to foster care, and her passion has only grown.

On Tuesday, Hardnett presented the results of Heart2Heart’s work since it was founded to the LaGrange City Council, so that the council would be familiar with the group and its goals.

“Heart2Heart came about through a vision that I had to help moms that were losing their children to the foster care system,” Hardnett said. “I am a foster care parent of three kids that were going into adoption. So, the vision came when I saw that mom just really couldn’t get it together. She just really couldn’t get herself to the point when she could maintain her own housing or get to work.”

Hardnett said that she performed renovations to a building on Hill Street in order to better serve parents struggling to meet court requirements. Now, Heart2Heart is helping connect women with other local resources to find jobs, housing and manage budgets.

“Heart2Heart is definitely a place where we want to uplift and encourage and empower other females with young babies, single mothers, single women and extend our hand to uplift them,” Hardnett said. “Even though we are comfortable in our state of mind, when you lose everything that you have it throws you into a depression state of mind, so we started working with Pathways.”

Through partnerships with other groups, Heart2Heart has been able to help some women overcome one of the most costly barriers to getting their lives back together.

“We’ve helped house maybe 20 to 25 women with kids. … Helping them find a home, helping them find some way to take care of the finances. Budgeting [is important],” Hardnett said. “We’ve spoken with Circles, CAFI, Action Ministries.”

Hardnett said Heart2Heart serves all ages and races and has recently helped women ages 17 to 70 years old recently.

“This is to take on a responsibility that is way bigger than me,” Hardnett said. “Together we can rise. Together we can help these ladies get back what they lose and definitely make sure these kids can stay in a safe, secure environment. That is what Heart2Heart is about.”

Council Member Willie Edmondson said that he was familiar with the group’s work and applauded them. Other council members also thanked Hardnett for what Heart2Heart is doing in the community.

“It is very important work, and we can tell you are very passionate about it and look forward to seeing a lot of great progress come from this,” LaGrange Mayor Jim Thornton said. “There certainly is need in our community that you have identified, and we appreciate you responding to that.”

The center also partnered with the warming center in December to provide a location for people using the warming center to go during the day. According to Hardnett, the center also fed roughly 250 people around Christmas and participated in numerous outreach efforts.