May 3, 2017
KANSAS CITY, Missouri – After 14 months of living at the Sheffield Place women’s transitional living center, 26-year-old Amy Burch and her young daughter have recently moved into a rental home of their own.
Burch can scarcely believe the path that has led her into the new home, which is located in Kansas City’s Historic Northeast neighborhood. When she arrived at Sheffield Place, Burch was suffering from depression, homeless, and struggling to take care of a newborn daughter. She knew that she needed to make a positive change in her life, but even then, Burch had no idea what the next year and a half would have in store for her.
“It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my entire life,” said Burch of her transition since first walking into Sheffield Place. “Mind you, my daughter was only eight weeks old. We’d been homeless together; I knew it was the best thing for us to provide a place for us to live. I had like 14-hour days to make sure that I accomplished everything in the program with a full-time job.”
On the afternoon of Wednesday, May 3, Sheffield Place celebrated Burch’s progress with a ribbon cutting ceremony at her new home. Despite the difficulty of the program, Burch said that she remained motivated to see it through on behalf of her young daughter.
“She’s my everything. I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish this if I didn’t have someone call me ‘mom.’ I really wouldn’t. I love her so much,” said Burch. “Her coming into my life – some people would say that maybe that was kind of a bad time to have a child – but honestly, that is what made my life what it is now. I can’t wait to see where we’re going.”
Burch also elaborated on the circumstances that led her to Sheffield Place in the first place. She discussed how her mother passed away when she was 11, and how she spent long stretches afterwards in an “extremely abusive” living situation. Though she was eventually adopted by her sister and moved to Kansas City during her teenage years, Burch’s struggles with mental illness consistently prevented her from reaching her full potential.
“I just kept bouncing around, but when my daughter came into the picture I realized that I could not do that anymore,” said Burch.
Now depression-free and living on her own, Burch could not be more happy – and grateful – about the way that Sheffield Place has helped her re-shape her life.
“To know that I can provide for my daughter now is just amazing,” said Burch. “I’m just excited, and very blessed, and full of gratitude.”
Sheffield Place Executive Director Kelly Welch told the Northeast News that stories like Burch’s can serve as a welcome motivator for women who are still going through the in-facility program at Sheffield Place.
“You can do it. That’s the most powerful message for our moms, to hear somebody else like them who’s done it,” said Welch. “It’s a very strong message, and we love when they come back and share.
Burch’s new home is one of six owned by Sheffield Place; a seventh is currently being rehabbed. The houses are rented out to women who’ve completed the Sheffield Place programming and are ready to strike out on their own. Welch said that the organization is currently looking to acquire more houses near the main facility.
“We’re having some problems finding houses, because we really want to stay in this area,” said Welch. “The facility is (close to here), which is perfect. We’d like to stay within a half-mile of the facility so that the women can walk over for services or if they need something.”