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Giving vulnerable women a safe place at Kinna's House of Love | Jefferson Awards 2023

53-year-old Luekinna Hodges is known for starting the organization 'Kinna's House of Love' and also called 'Kinna's Corner.'

DAVENPORT, Iowa — A Davenport woman is taking a stand against domestic violence after hitting rock bottom more than once at a young age. 

Luekinna Hodges, 53, is one of the WQAD 2023 Jefferson Awards nominees. 

Hodges is known for starting up her organization 'Kinna's House of Love', also called 'Kinna's Corner.'

"I want the atmosphere to be as comfortable for the kids," Hodges said.

Her support includes offering help for women who are victims of domestic violence. She also hosts family-friendly events throughout the year.

"When we have the kids here, it's a joy to see them laugh," Hodges said. "And I talk to them about feelings and expression."

Silvia Salinas-Torres is a mother of three who has benefited from Hodges' work.

"She gave my kids Christmas gifts," Silvia said.

"She's a sweet, sweet, sweet lady," Silvia's oldest child added.

Hodges said she hopes to guide children down a better path than hers.

"There was so much stuff happening to me," Hodges said. "When I really reminisce on that stuff, I could've been dead."

She's experienced several life-threatening situations over the years, including drugs, abuse, sex trafficking, suicide attempts and child homelessness.

"What's really going on in my mind is all the misery I felt when I was here," Hodges said. "And so, I never try to forget that."

Kinna took News 8 to the area where she used to live in Davenport.

"There's always fights, the less fortunate hanging out, sleeping, which is where I was," Hodges said. "I've been through so much pain."

The trials and tribulations eventually turned into earning four Associate Degrees and graduating with honors.

"Believe me, I know I'm under God's hand," Hodges said. "Out of everything I went through, everybody can't handle it. He knew that I was going to come through."

Hodges said she stands by her faith and that her organization is what's most near and dear to her heart.

"They can be heard here, you may not be able to be at home, but you're going to be heard here," Hodges said.

"It's the story of her life that she has been through so much from a very young age and has gone through everything that you can possibly imagine then come out on the other side," Kinna's House of Love Board of Directors Chairperson Jill Zurborg said.

She wants to go on to open a shelter house for single women without children.

"The ones that are going through it right now, I'm here to tell you that it's going to be okay," Hodges said.

"I was shocked that I met her and the stuff she'd done for me and my kids so far, and the things that she does, activities with my kids," Silvia said. "Trying to change them, trying to give them good advice about going to school, having good grades. Just like I told her on the phone, 'You're just like another mother to me. I can come and talk to you about anything.'"

Hodges also has a petition to strengthen security measures at childcare facilities circulating in Iowa.

"I think the safety of these kids is really important," Hodges said. "And people really don't pay attention to that." 

Kinna's House of Love is run out of the Lincoln Community Center at 318 E. 7th St. in Davenport.

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