New apartment building houses low-income families and young adults transitioning out of foster care

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The Y Gardens, a new Life 360 apartment building houses low-income families and young adults transitioning out of foster care.

The building has 41 units, and last month it hit capacity.

The Y Gardens is at the corner of National and Chestnut.

From living somewhere that’s affordable to getting out of a bad situation, three residents say they’re settling in just fine.

Skyler Barr, Living at The Y Gardens: “It’s fun,” Skyler Barr who lives at The Y Gardens said. “Living by OTC is nice. All the programs are nice. The staff are nice. So, happy.”

This is 20-year-old Barr’s first time living on his own.

“It’s been easy, somewhat, now,” Barr said. “It was hard for the first two weeks because I didn’t have a job, so.”

Justin Kuntzelman moved into The Y Gardens with his 5 and 13-year-old kids last November.

“I had a house couple miles away for a long time, and it was too small,” Kuntzelman said. “I ended up with my kids full-time. Needed some more room so we just kind of picked up and found a place that offered that for us.”

A two-bedroom apartment like his costs anywhere from 515 to 725 dollars a month.

“Living here allows me to be able to do more things for my kids that I wouldn’t necessarily have been able to do before,” Kuntzelman said. “Seeing your kids smile and happy, it makes life a whole lot worth living.”

Chyla McCully is two months into living there with her 5 and 7-year-old daughters.

“My kids and I were living in a hotel for about three months,” McCully said. “This is the only place that would accept us with our Section 8 Voucher.”

Which offers rental assistance to low-income families.

“I’m really thankful that my kids and I finally have our own home,” McCully said. “My kids finally have their own room and their own beds. They have the freedom to run around in a place that’s bigger than a hotel room, and we have a kitchen. Oh my gosh, a kitchen.”

The Y Gardens is working on adding an outdoor space to the building.

It also plans to rent a parking lot and some lights.

And depending on finances, it also wants to build a playground.

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