ReBuild KC: Empowering Kansas City Communities through Grant Opportunities

EllieAna Hale
Reporter

First introduced in 2022 through an initiative funded by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, ReBuild KC has awarded nearly $20M since its infancy, with the second round of awards totaling an amount of $4.4M for Kansas City community initiatives. 

These grants offer funds for community initiatives to grow their ventures and resources to enact community change. With projects ranging from supporting low-income households to infrastructure support, ReBuild KC supports a wide range of neighborhood initiatives. 

The application process involved the Kansas City Neighborhood Services Department reading through every application and applying criteria within the following seven categories;

  • Community Violence Interventions 
  • Affordable Housing or Housing Support – includes affordable housing and relocation assistance for disproportionately impacted communities.
  • Housing Services for Unhoused Persons – Includes services for unhoused persons.
  • Healthy Childhood Environments – Examples include childcare, home visits, services to foster youth and early learning programs.
  • Strong Healthy Communities – Examples include neighborhood features that promote health and safety, home repair programs, and rehabilitation of properties.
  • Job Training – Job training programs for the unemployed or underemployed.
  • Assistance to Impacted Non-Profits that perform a public benefit – Assistance to impacted or disproportionately impacted non-profit organizations.

“I work directly with neighborhoods pretty closely throughout our city and my hope out of this is more of an ownership in the neighborhood and more of a closer tie by providing individuals with their neighborhood more community activities,” Neighborhood Services Director Forest Decker said. 

With 261 applicants in round two, 69 projects and programs have been chosen to receive funds during its second round of funding in 2023. Ten Historic Northeast neighborhood initiatives were chosen within the group including the following:

  • The Don Bosco Centers
  • Mattie Rhodes Center 
  • Lykins Institution
  • Cherith Brook Catholic Worker House
  • Bishop Sullivan Center
  • Columbus Park Neighborhood Assn
  • Northeast Community Center
  • Northeast Kansas City Chamber (bridge mural)
  • Northeast Kansas City Chamber (Boulevard streetscape)
  • The Gathering Table

Initiatives that receive the grants are assisted by city neighborhood services through the planning and implementation processes and guided through applying the funds towards the needs stated within the application process. 

“The Rebuild KC grant focuses on housing and income which has a large impact on mental health,” John Fierro, President and CEO of Mattie Rhodes Center said. “We will utilize these funds for our participants in Historic NE with the objective of being happy with life, being connected to other people, and having a sense of meaning.”

Managed and distributed by the Kansas City Neighborhood Services Department, ReBuild KC offers a distinctive chance for community initiatives to grow their local communities and build new opportunities through a grant selection process. 

Applications for ReBuild KC are now closed and the program is no longer accepting future applicants but Decker encourages community initiatives to “reach out” to see how neighborhood services can support and grow your community or neighborhood initiative.

For more information contact forest.decker@kcmo.org or visit ReBuildKc.kcmo.org 

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