Argrow House founder ‘walks humbly and loves justice’

Dr. Argrow “Kit” Evans-Ford  Argrow’s House of Healing and Hope, founder and director  Autistic & Loved, chief executive officer

Dr. Argrow Kit Ford

Her accomplishments are many, ranging from global mission work to finding a path for healing for women in trauma, developing a bath products business to support that work, serving as a spiritual director, and creating a line of sensory products for autistic children.

Yet the soft-spoken Dr. Argrow “Kit” Evans-Ford prefers to deflect the credit onto others. Told of the nominations made on her behalf for the Women of Influence award, she responds, “That’s so kind.”

Her work in founding Argrow’s House of Healing and Hope has assisted many hundreds of women and their families into navigating a better life, provided jobs and an economic lifeline to countless people, and shown how kindness can transform lives.

“For me, the work that I do comes from my soul,” says the 41-year-old native of Mebane, North Carolina. “It is intrinsically intertwined with my soul, and oftentimes with a problem or an issue that I face in my own life or my family’s.”

The inspiration for her work is her grandmother, Dr. Argrow Margaret Warren, whose silhouette is framed in the logo for Argrow’s House.

“It looks like my son, too,” Ms. Evans-Ford smiles, referring to her son, Justice, 7, as she looks at the image on the wall of the Argrow’s retail store at 5169 Utica Ridge Road, Davenport. She is married to the Rev. Dwight L. Ford, executive director of Project NOW, and the couple also have a daughter, Imani, 8. They live in Davenport.

Imani and Justice, who have autism, inspired her to found Autistic & Loved, LLC, a business that carries products for autistic children, including a line of “chewelry” – food grade silicon pendants developed by Ms. Evans-Ford.

The business, which shares space on Utica Ridge with the bath products line and other offerings made by women artisans such as purses and jewelry, is an effort to bring together and support families with autistic children.

“Being an autism parent, we want to be a resource,” she said. “We are in continuous communication with all of our families.”

Ms. Evans-Ford’s special brand of healing outreach was nourished as a high schooler when she became involved in an organization called Students Against Violence Everywhere. She became president of her school’s chapter and began to travel and speak about it.

“For me, God saved my life with this organization,” she said. “It gave me purpose that we could do good … it set me up for knowing how important service was, how important violence prevention was, and that became the foundation of my life. It shows up in Argrow’s House and a lot of the work that I do.”

The work of Argrow’s House in helping victims of domestic violence takes many forms. For some of the women, it has resulted in jobs making the natural-based bath products out of a production facility in Moline. Counseling services and referrals are available, as are seminars on topics such as Love & Healthy Relationships and Financial Wellness. Family Fun Nights at Moline’s Esperanza Center bring mothers and children together under a social worker’s leadership for food, activities and the opportunity to make memories.

“Our goal is to assist the ladies in getting on their feet, and then help them strategize with social workers, to have them find their dream job,” she said. “Domestic violence, you see it in all homes, impoverished or upper middle class. It doesn’t have a race, it doesn’t have a socioeconomic class.”

Those who work with “Dr. Kit” point to her well of compassion that manifests itself in all aspects of Argrow’s House.

Dr. Katy A. Strzepek, director of the Center for Civic Engagement at Illinois State University and a member of the Argrow’s House board, describes Ms. Evans-Ford as a person “who walks humbly and loves justice.”

“I have worked with Kit on numerous projects for Argrow’s House and am always in awe of her incredible ability to act in solidarity with survivors and to advocate for them and with them. … She always takes the time to listen to each person’s story and to let them know they are not alone,” she added.

Ms. Evans-Ford’s reach is far and wide. Coming up for her is a return mission trip to Saint Kitts, a nation in the Eastern Caribbean, one of many countries where she worked as an international community development worker.

Asked how she weaves together the many aspects of her life, she smiles and answers, “I have three phones, but with more resources it won’t always be this way.”

“I think in general, in life, it takes a village to do anything, but especially when you’re working to help people. I’m really grateful to have my husband as the center of my village. He has encouraged me to believe that the sky’s the limit.”


This profile was originally published in the QCBJ’s 2024 Women of Influence publication. The QCBJ is excited to introduce this new awards program to the Quad Cities. Our inaugural class of Women of Influence are an inspiring group of trailblazers, role models and leaders in their workplaces and in their communities. They have overcome adversity, taken chances and committed themselves to making the Quad Cities community a better place for all of us to live, work and play.  

The QCBJ will present the 2024 Women of Influence awards on Thursday, May 23, from 5:30-8 p.m., at the Quad Cities Waterfront Convention Center in Bettendorf. Tickets are still available to the event, which includes networking, dinner and remarks from the winners, by visiting

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