Imagine yourself as the single mom of two little kids. You struggle to keep them safe and fed, and you rely on assistance to provide a solid roof over their head. You finally make it through the labyrinth of housing bureaucracy, you qualify for rent assistance, and then you learn there are too few livable homes from which to choose.
That housing gap, or difference between demand and supply of safe housing, is not just happening elsewhere but here in Kansas City. More than 1,000 children go to sleep homeless every night within the Kansas City, Kansas school district. The increasingly tight housing markets, and associated price increases across the country, make the homeless problem more acute.
One agency is about to take a giant stride to narrow that gap. Eileen’s Place, a supportive housing project of Metro Lutheran Ministries (MLM), is scheduled to open in May 2021. An idea in 2014 to create a 10-plex became much more, addressing a housing need that has only gotten worse for some families. Eileen’s Place, located at 7401 Armstrong in Kansas City, KS, is an affordable, 60-unit, mixed-use community intended to nurture and empower families working hard to give their kids safe and stable home environments.
MLM has long helped connect and support families who are working to put their lives back in order. The idea began with a volunteer wondering how MLM could make an impact. A seed gift started the process that became Eileen’s Place, involving public and private partnerships along the way. The first residents will move in on June 1.
MLM will offer fully furnished 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom apartments with a shared clubhouse, green space for a playground, and raised bed gardens. Each unit will have washers and dryers, a complete kitchen, and individual bedrooms. For some, it will represent freedom to do simple family things together.
MLM will have full-time staff on-site, and offer basic needs, computer labs, financial and employment coaching, day-care, medical/dental assistance, and more. Residents are encouraged to take advantage of those services, but it is not a requirement of residency. These are not hand-me-down apartments; this is new construction. You would be proud to call these home.
How can you help?
Donate to Eileen’s Place to help fund the services they will offer. Donate to MLM to help support their metro-wide services feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, providing guidance, and helping their clients live with dignity. Learn more about the challenge of homelessness in our city and the innovative ways to find solutions.
Our partner Phil Kernen and his family have helped support MLM for years, and he is now part of their Board leadership. Join us in helping offer your time, talent, and treasure to make the world a little better for our neighbors.
You can learn more about Eileen’s Place and MLM with these links: