Dorri Partain 
Assistant Editor 

On a damp Saturday morning, a group of ten volunteers stood knee-deep in foliage inside a vacant lot near 6th and Indiana, clearing the lot from trash, weeds, and young trees.

Led by team leader Emily Casey, members of Abundant Life Church of Lee’s Summit were on site on May 4, stepping in as a first step to reclaim the overgrown lot on 3412 E. 6th, a city Land Bank property being purchased by Eleos Ministries. The lot sits at the back of the ministries’ coffee shop, Eleos Coffee at 3401 Independence Avenue, and borders their parking lot and an additional green space they maintain.

Like many vacant properties in Historic Northeast, the lot once contained a single family house, but once demolished, the lot eventually landed in the city’s Land Bank. When volunteers arrived, they found a houseless person camping at the very back of the lot, which is also a common situation. 

Dan Smith, founder of Eleos Ministries, stated, ”We made an agreement with the Land Bank to pay $750 for the lot and then someone randomly stopped by the (coffee) shop and we ended up talking about the lot; they asked how much we purchased it for and then said they wanted to cover that cost for us and so they gave us a donation of $750!”

In addition to the coffee shop, which serves as a community space offering Bible study and 

outreach to those living on the streets, Eleos hosts several community events throughout the year and the extra green space will accommodate better and possibly larger events.

“We are planning to fence it off to keep people from dumping in it again,” said Smith, “and once we own it we will remove the fence between it and our side lot to make a nice large space for community events.  Later this summer it will be used for an event for refugee/immigrant families that will include a petting zoo.”