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Report to the Community Hillcrest transitional housing

Hillcrest Transitional Housing is Kansas City's Regional Leader in Solving Homelessness

Hillcrest's Mission: To be a transitional housing ministry providing a supportive environment that helps homeless families and youth become self-supportive, self-reliant contributors to society.

Unlike many organizations whose focus is one time or emergency care, Hillcrest's primary objective is to solve homelessness by addressing the total life situation of the families we serve. This is accomplished by helping them overcome the challenges that led to their homelessness, and equipping them with the skills they need to be self sufficient for the rest of their lives. Our residents are held accountable through a weekly evaluation system, are subject to an "all needs / no wants" approach to budgeting, and are required to maintain full-time employment.

"I don't know where I would be without Hillcrest. It's just a different kind of program that is needed for people who have something going for them, but not everything." - Robin, Hillcrest Graduate

Hillcrest is Transforming lives

Over 1,020 individuals were served through all of Hillcrest's programs last year, of which over 460 were children under the age of 18.

Last year, Hillcrest successfully moved more thanĀ 175 households from homelessness to self-sufficiency. Of those, 78 households graduated from Hillcrest's flagship transitional living program. This program provides families 90 days of rent and utility-free housing in exchange for their participation in Hillcrest's rigorous educational program. It also provides opportunity for homeless youth ages 16-24 to transition to successful adult independent living with up to 24-months of housing and life skills classes. Another 99 households were assisted through rapid re-housing, which includes case management and immediate housing location assistance.

The Power of Never Giving Up

Life had not been kind to "Jonathan." In fact, it had been traumatic. After losing two children (one to gun violence, another to a car accident), Jon separated from his wife. His life was stripped of everything, including his home. For the last 4 years, he had been living in his car. Despite all he went through, he said he continued to trust God. His prayers for help were answered in the form of Hillcrest's program. His caseworker helped him assess his challenges to stability and overcome barriers to self-sufficiency. When Jon turned the key to his new apartment in November, the first words he said were, "I thank God I'm so happy right now. He gave me another chance!"

"Jonathan" celebrates moving into the first home he's been able to call his own in nearly 25 years.

Proven Methods, Real Results

The transitional housing model is a proven method for helping families achieve lasting change. Hillcrest is the most successful program of its kind in the Kansas City Metropolitan Area. The organization has been recognized for best practices by the National Alliance to End Homelessness.

However, it is the testimony of those who progress through Hillcrest's program that speak volumes. When asked, a recent group of residents cited Hillcrest as the catalyst for the following changes in their lives:

  • The motivation and ability to pay down debt
  • The ability to manage a budget
  • Regaining hope
  • Building confidence
  • Addressing chronic health problems
  • Learning life skills like how to do laundry and manage time
  • An improvement in school grades and attendance
  • Restoring relationships with family
  • Developing friendships and building a support network
  • Experiencing a change in attitude and behavior
  • Building up savings
"Hillcrest is a healing program." - Melissa, Hillcrest Graduate

Fiscal Responsibility is a vital piece of the hillcrest equation

There is no better investment than Hillcrest when seeking to solve homelessness in Kansas City. Hillcrest keeps operating costs down by stretching every donated dollar into ten dollars of services and boasts a rate of success unmatched by other transitional programs.

Hillcrest has been reviewed by the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, and enjoys a Gold Seal of Transparency by Guidestar.

The Power of Time, Talent, and Treasure

Hillcrest would be unable to achieve the great work it accomplishes without the support of community volunteers and community donors.

Volunteers are the backbone of our organization. They serve as budget counselors, help with maintenance and landscaping, sort donations at Hillcrest Thrift Stores, conduct drives for our pantries, mentor our clients, clean apartments, lead life skills classes, and so much more. Volunteers contribute over 36,000 hours of manpower to Hillcrest each year. For more information on the opportunities available, contact Tamara Grubb at tgrubb@hillcrestkc.org.

Donors support our organization because they believe in the power of our work. Whether its through a grant, a personal gift, an event sponsorship, a planned gift, or sponsoring an apartment unit, Hillcrest supporters are critical to the success of our families. For more information on supporting the work of Hillcrest with a financial gift, contact Cotton Sivils at sivilsc@hillcrestkc.org.

"I love Hillcrest because it empowers families dealing with homelessness. At the end of the program, they become productive members of our society. When you change the lives of these adults, you change the lives of their kids forever." - Fern, Apartment Liaison

from homeless to housed and happy

Andrea is a 44-year-old mother of two teenagers. A year ago, she was living in a sober living housing unit after overcoming many obstacles. Those obstacles turned into her greatest strengths as she developed resilience, determination, and personal power to change her circumstances. After applying to Hillcrest for assistance, Andrea and her family were provided 90 days of rent and utility-free housing while she worked full-time and learned to manage her money. She graduated Hillcrest's program and moved into a duplex of her own. Today, she is doing well and her children are thriving in school. Recently, two Lee's Summit businesses partnered to provide Andrea and her family a new-to-them vehicle. She and her children are evidence of how the Hillcrest approach to homelessness can transform entire families.

Hillcrest graduate Andrea Lang receives the keys to a van donated by Shredd KC and Instant Auto.
"Without Hillcrest, I wouldn't have been able to get to where I am today." - Amber, Hillcrest Graduate

Hillcrest Thrift Helps Families Thrive

Hillcrest operates two thrift stores - one at 936 SE 3rd Street in Lee's Summit and one at 7824 Quivira Road in Lenexa. Every time someone shops at, donates to, or volunteers with one of our thrift stores, they are contributing to the success of our residents and graduates. The thrift stores enjoyed a banner year in 2019, experiencing an increase in sales and a streamlining of operations. Hillcrest Thrift Stores are an important piece of Hillcrest's funding model and they require ongoing support from the Kansas City community, particularly in the form of volunteer help and donations of gently used clothing and household items. For more information, visit www.hillcrestkc.org/thrift.

Moving Forward with 2020 vision

As the regional leader in solving homelessness, Hillcrest works to provide the highest level of service to all of its constituencies. There is a critical need for quality homeless organizations like Hillcrest. Hillcrest will continue to strive to achieve excellence while demonstrating a commitment to staff and volunteers, a superior organizational structure, and a dedication to transforming the lives of the individuals and families it serves.

For more information about Hillcrest Transitional Housing, visit www.hillcrestkc.org.

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