Local organizations team up to bring resources to tenants at Gabriel Towers

Residents of Gabriel Towers sit in the shade trying to beat the heat on Tuesday. (Photo by Daisy Garcia Montoya)

By Daisy Garcia Montoya, Editorial Assistant

Residents of Gabriel Towers, 1600 Jackson St., got a helping hand on Tuesday, June 9, from local organizations after three weeks without air conditioning. 

Murray Woodward was driving down Jackson Avenue on Sunday, June 8, when he saw Leroy Sykes, a resident of Gabriel Towers, on the side of the road with a sign that read “No A/C Elder Abuse.” 

Woodward stopped to talk with tenants who told him that they have been without air conditioning for weeks. Woodward took to social media, posting pictures on Facebook, which attracted the attention of Third District-at-large Councilman Brandon Ellington and Third District Councilwoman Melissa Robinson.

Woodward connected with fellow members of the Centurion Leadership Program of Greater Kansas City, and as word spread, more organizations came out to help.

Kansas City, Missouri Police Department (KCPD) Officer Vito Mazzara, part of the Crime Free Multi-Housing Unit, said that after being notified that the complex had no air conditioning, officers talked to tenants to see how they could assist. Officers were told that food was priority, so they provided doughnuts and water for residents Tuesday morning. 

KCPD officers provided snacks and water to tenants on Tuesday. (Photo By Daisy Garcia Montoya)

Officer Holly Sticken, an interaction officer with Central Patrol, reached out to Scott Lamaster, founder of Taking it to the Streets to plan a lunch for tenants, Mazzara said.

Taking it to the Streets, a volunteer-based organization, along with KCPD community interaction officers, provided tenants with 280 meals on Tuesday afternoon. 

“It’s so hot in their buildings, they can’t cook, get food, resources, so we’re here providing great lunch for them, giving them some hope, love and encouragement along with the police department,” Lamaster said.

Many other organizations, such as the Centurion Leadership Program, provided food and even paid out of a pocket for Kona Ice, a shaved ice truck, to give residents a cool snack.

To help residents stay out of the heat while they grabbed a meal, KCATA provided handicap-accessible cooling busses.

Gabriel Towers resident Leroy Sykes stands in front of a KCATA cooling bus on Tuesday. (Photo by Daisy Garcia Montoya)

Director of Legal Services Amanda Myers with Heartland Center for Jobs and Freedom (HCJF) talked to residents to inform them of their legal rights.

“Some of the tenants reached out to learn more information about their legal rights with the situation so that’s why we came out today,” Myers said. 

The lack of air conditioning is not the only problem found at Gabriel Towers. Six-year resident Terry Blanks said that the facility hasn’t changed the air filter in two years, nor has the furnace been cleaned. Additionally, the facility has mice, roaches and bed bugs.

Residents eat lunch outside Gabriel Towers, where they have been without air conditioning for three weeks. (Photo by Daisy Garcia Montoya)

“I think it’s headquarters doing this,” Blanks said. “They’re cutting us low because they think we’re low income. They look at us as second-class.”

Gabriel Towers is home to those aged 62 and older, handicapped or disabled. Rent is based on income, calculated at 30% of the household’s combined adjusted income, according to the property’s website.

After hearing about the complaints, KC Tenants helped the current residents organize to form a union. Together, they drafted a list of demands of issues that need to be fixed and provided the list to the management company, Millennia.

Organizers from KC Tenants help residents unionize on Tuesday. (Photo by Daisy Garcia Montoya)

“Most of the demands were agreed upon with deadlines for completion and the others “they’ll have to go back to corporate on,” Woodward wrote in an update on Facebook. 

The management company will begin emptying the backed-up trash shoot and agreed to provide working washers and dryers by July 1.

Residents expect to have the air conditioning fixed by Wednesday or Thursday at the latest.

Want Northeast News articles sent straight to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
Enter your email address and click on the Get Instant Access button.
We respect your privacy

Comments are closed.

  • Former State Representative, County Legislator plans to run for KCMO City Council in Fourth District race

    July 6th, 2022
    by

    EllieAna Hale Editorial Assistant Henry Rizzo, former Missouri State Representative and former chairman of the Jackson County Legislature, has announced […]


    CLASSIFIED

    July 6th, 2022
    by

    101 Contractors & Builders MARK’S REMODELING ROOFING, SIDING, DOORS WINDOWS, PLUMBING SHEETROCK, ELECTRICAL NO JOB TOO SMALL 816-537-3193 103 Lawn […]


    SCARRITT SCHOOL

    July 6th, 2022
    by

    The vacant former Scarritt Elementary School on Anderson Avenue, which closed in 2010, will be sold by the district. Proposals […]


    Solarize your home and save money

    July 6th, 2022
    by

    Brought to you by Jerusalem Farm Want Northeast News articles sent straight to your inbox each week? Subscribe below! Enter […]


    Legal Aid helps neighborhoods restore abandoned homes

    July 6th, 2022
    by

    Abby Hoover Managing Editor In Northeast Kansas City’s historic neighborhoods, preserving the aging housing stock is a priority for those […]


    KC CARE provides health services for all

    July 6th, 2022
    by

    Northeast News KC CARE Health Center began serving the Kansas City community in 1971. They were known as the Westport […]


    Northeast area public pools and spraygrounds

    July 5th, 2022
    by

    CONCOURSE PARK FOUNTAIN 200 Benton Blvd Open year round. BUDD PARK POOL 5600 Budd Park Esplanade Summer 2022 Season June […]


    243: Camel Culture

    July 2nd, 2022
    by

    On this week’s episode of the Northeast Newscast, we’re joined by Joseph Williams, sales representative with Camel Culture, a brand […]


  • Kansas City’s Most Wanted

    June 29th, 2022
    by

    KC Crime Stoppers has partnered with The Northeast News to help track individuals in Northeast KC on the Kansas City’s […]


    Vacant Scarritt School slated for reuse

    June 29th, 2022
    by

    Abby Hoover Managing Editor The Scarritt Elementary School at 3509 Anderson Ave., closed in 2010 during the “right sizing” of […]


    Welcoming KC hosts International Food Tour to celebrate cultures on Independence Ave.

    June 29th, 2022
    by

    EllieAna Hale Editorial Assistant Welcoming KC hosted this year’s KC International Food Tour in Historic Northeast, a day of celebration […]


    State Representative earns Missouri Horace Mann award

    June 29th, 2022
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher State Representative Ingrid Burnett (D-19) was awarded the 2022 Horace Mann Award Thursday evening at a reception […]


    American Art Deco: Designing for the People, 1918-1939

    June 29th, 2022
    by

    Sponsored content The Kansas City Museum’s collections of historical materials are an important means of advancing the Museum’s mission and […]


    Community partnerships at the heart of Mattie Rhodes, NEAT Mission

    June 29th, 2022
    by

    Sponsored content Once again the Mattie Rhodes Center’s Northeast facility at 148 N. Topping is sponsoring a series of community […]


    Man sentenced to 28 years for double homicide in 2019

    June 28th, 2022
    by

    By EllieAna Hale Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced June 27 that 25-year-old Mario Markworth was sentenced to 28 […]


    Pedestrian suffers critical injuries in early morning hit and run

    June 23rd, 2022
    by

    Update: The female pedestrian has succumbed to her injuries according to KCPD. A female pedestrian who was standing in the […]


    Cafe Cá Phê hosts fundraising yard sale

    June 22nd, 2022
    by

    EllieAna Hale Editorial Assistant Cafe Cá Phê hosted a Yard Sale Pop-Up Event on June 17 to fundraise and support […]


    World Refugee Day celebration brings together the stories of a diverse community

    June 22nd, 2022
    by

    EllieAna HaleEditorial Assistant On June 18, the North-East Branch of the Kansas City Public Library hosted the city’s annual World […]


    Community Calendar

    June 22nd, 2022
    by

    FRIDAY, JUNE 24 –Welcoming KC Presents the International Food Tour. $30 per person. CLICK HERE MORE MORE DETAILS SATURDAY, JUNE […]


    Sewing Labs welcome international textile recycler

    June 22nd, 2022
    by

    Abby Hoover Managing Editor The Sewing Labs of Kansas City, a nonprofit teaching the legacy of sewing for employment, entrepreneurship, […]


  • Faces Of Northeast


  • Remember This?


  • Want articles sent directly to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
    We respect your privacy and will not distribute your information.