Congratulations to the winner of the 2020 Stark County Impact Program, House of G.R.A.C.E. Residential Services, LLC. House of G.R.A.C.E. is a minority owned, female led business founded by Audra Martin, PhD, CEO and Haydee Thomas, RN, COO. Dr. Martin is a Licensed Independent Social Worker with Supervisory Delegation with over 25 years of experience, who also has a strong passion for working with families and community change. Haydee is a Registered Nurse with over 20 years of experience who, being of Puerto Rican descent, is also bilingual and has a passion for serving and working with those within the most vulnerable and underserved populations. Since the Stark County Impact Program Showcase, they have continued their entrepreneurial journey with significant strides focused on progressing their business. 

The Stark County Impact Program is an intensive 12-week business assistance program provided by JumpStart Inc. and the Canton Innovation District. The program is designed to provide focused business advising, industry-specific mentoring and collaborative learning for Stark County entrepreneurs. Being the winners of the Stark County Impact Program, Audra and Haydee took home $10,000 to help grow House of G.R.A.C.E. This helped them move into a new office located in downtown Canton at the beginning of February. 

“We wanted a place that we can be an intricate part, and also add inclusiveness and diversity, to the downtown community with the individuals we serve.” Martin said while both her and Haydee were explaining how excited they were to move into the new office, also mentioned the colors inside were already the same as their business logo colors. Now being one of, if not, the only Adult Day Support services in the downtown area, both Dr. Martin and Haydee believe this is a great opportunity to grow their business alongside the downtown community. House of G.R.A.C.E. is also accepting applicants from people seeking employment as a Direct Support Professional (DSP), Training and Development, CPR and First Aid Certification, and internships in the nursing and social services fields (in partnership with Malone University and Youngstown State University Programs). 

“We would love for people in the community who desire a career in human services or are currently pursuing a degree in social work or in the nursing field to take advantage of this great opportunity.” Thomas said. “You need to have a level of passion for people and that’s what we do on a daily basis by giving, resources, advocacy, care, and equality. That’s Grace!” House of G.R.A.C.E. currently has three internships available. 

The JumpStart office in Stark County in located in the Canton Innovation District HQ, where it holds programming and technical assistance for Stark County entrepreneurs and small businesses. Currently, all services are virtual, and entrepreneurs in Stark County can apply for assistance at The Stark County Community Manager representing JumpStart is Linda Hale, and can be contacted for a virtual introduction meeting after an application for assistance is submitted. The efforts put forth by House of G.R.A.C.E. is an appreciated addition to what minority-led businesses in this community can accomplish.