By Paul Thompson
May 5, 2016
KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Sheffield Place has proven once again that you can accomplish more together than alone.
The women’s transitional center opened its sixth permanent housing location in the Northeast on Wednesday, May 4, thanks to partnerships with the City of Kansas City, Wells Fargo Bank, and community organizations like the Church of the Resurrection.
The City of Kansas City gifted the previously-foreclosed home to Sheffield Place; Wells Fargo offered a $35,000 grant to help renovate the property; Church of the Resurrection also provided funds and volunteers to help turn the foreclosed property into a bright new home.
“I just think this is a wonderful example of what public and private collaboration can do to improve a community,” said Brent Symonds of Wells Fargo. “It’s one house at a time in Kansas City, but one house at a time makes a big difference.”
Sheffield Place Executive Director Kelly Welch also announced at the ribbon cutting that the city has recently agreed to provide an additional four houses for Sheffield Place in the next year, to bring the center’s total to ten permanent housing units.
“This started about four years ago, when we had a house over by the Paseo Academy,” said Stuart Bullington, of the KCMO Neighborhood and Housing Services department. “We offered it to domestic agencies, and Sheffield stepped forward. That was the start of a relationship of getting houses to Sheffield Place for them to fix up. It’s worked out great.”
Current Sheffield Place resident Chanele Anderson will be moving into the house at 13th and Bellaire before the end of the month, and she is well aware of the team effort that prepared the house for her family’s arrival.
“God loves me this much that he blessed me with something this beautiful,” said Anderson. “For them to come and rebuild things, paint things, and make it beautiful, that makes me feel grateful. That means they love me a whole lot.”
Welch praised Anderson for her commitment during her time at the center, which began with some adversity.
“Chanele’s worked really hard to get here,” said Welch. “She came in at the end of last summer, and we spent a lot of quality time together at the beginning.”
Anderson recognized her own transformation, as well as the efforts of the Sheffield Place staff, as she beamed with joy following the ribbon cutting ceremony.
“Standing here makes me see what I was working hard for; and why my therapist, my case manager, and Kelly were pushing me so hard and staying on me,” Anderson said. “It was because of this.”
“I was like, ‘Why are they being so mean to me?'” Anderson added with a laugh. “But it was because they saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself.”