KANSAS CITY, MO – Earlier today, Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders and Jackson County Legislator Bishop James Tindall announced the successful completion of two new projects for Jackson County Constructing Futures, a collaborative initiative between Jackson County and several community partners.
At a press conference this morning held at the Ivanhoe Neighborhood Center, County Executive Sanders as well as Legislator Tindall presented the keys to a newly renovated home to Latoya Caldwell and her four children.
Caldwell and her children became homeless as a result of domestic violence and poverty. The family has gone through programming at Sheffield Place, a local agency which assists families and provides recovery services after they have become homeless.
“Today we were able to help change the lives of two very deserving families,” said County Executive Sanders. “Because of the great success of this program, we will continue to reach out and find opportunities to help citizens and families in need.”
County Executive Sanders and Legislator Tindall gave away a second home earlier in the day to another single mother with three children. Because of on-going concerns about the family’s safety due to a history of domestic violence, the county chose to keep the second family and the location of their new home anonymous.
Jackson County Constructing Futures focuses on a 3-fold benefit to the community. The program entails remodeling long vacant houses, providing on-the-job training to members of the community who are unemployed, under-employed or may have been previously incarcerated, and giving a family who has struggled with homelessness a new place to call home.
Today’s announcement marked the fourth and fifth houses completed under Jackson County Constructing Futures. Previous projects were completed in the Ivanhoe and Marlborough Neighborhoods in Kansas City as well as the successful renovation of a home in western Independence last year.
Five of the individuals who helped renovate the homes given away today were clients of Connections to Success, a non-profit organization which works to break the cycle of re-incarceration by aiding ex-offenders in acquiring key job skills. Each of the five individuals working on the two homes had been incarcerated in the past.
Jackson County Constructing Futures was founded in 2008 by County Executive Sanders. In addition to Connections to Success, additional community partners include Habitat for Humanity, Jackson County Land Trust, and the Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council.
Primary funds for these two houses were provided through the Jackson County Legislature’s Housing Resources Commission (HRC). The HRC is a five-person commission responsible for disbursing the County’s Homeless Assistance Fund. Additional funding came from the Jackson County Community Backed Anti-Drug Tax (COMBAT).