SPRINGFIELD, Mo. The Kitchen Inc. is asking for the community to help support the non-profit's goal of getting homeless people in Springfield off the streets and back on their feet.
The Kitchen's new campus is located on the corner of Glenstone Avenue and Chestnut Expressway. They broke ground on that location in June and eventually, the new shelter at that location will have 50 beds to house women, families, veterans and youth.
The Kitchen Inc. launched a capital campaign back in 2015 to raise funds for the project. So far, they've raised about 97% of the funding needed for the new campus.
Now, the non-profit is asking the community to help raise the last 3% of the funding they need. Starting today, people can buy a brick that will be used in the pavement leading up to the new shelter. You can put your name or your business's name on the brick, or make it in memory of someone. Whatever goes on the brick, the funds will be used for the new shelter.
In 2016, the Kitchen's shelter served 97 people, but throughout their entire organization, they helped house over 600 people, almost half of them under the age of 18. Their current shelter is two separate buildings near Commercial Street, and they are too old to continue using.
"That was one of the biggest reasons why we looked at building a new campus instead of renovating the old one, was just the cost was so prohibitive," said Roz Palmer, Community Development Manager with the Kitchen Inc. "It was much cheaper to build new. And, let's face it, it's just - a new building is going to be so much nicer with the clients that we serve."
The new campus is really a "re-boot" for the non-profit; a new start and a new direction to help them achieve their goal of getting homeless folks off the street and back on their feet. Palmer describes their programs as a hand up, not a hand out, because the ultimate goal is to help the people who come through their programs find employment and permanent housing.
The Kitchen raised the funds for the shelter with the capital campaign and this fundraiser in order to be fiscally responsible, Palmer said. With area businesses and community members contributing to the project, it's really a community effort.
"It's the entire community's responsibility to help us house these people, because for every person living on the street in Springfield, costs the taxpayers around $32,000," Palmer said. "Where we can house them for less than half of that."
A 4" x 8" brick is $100, or $110 with clip art or a logo included. An 8" x 8" brick is $200, or $210 with clip art or a logo.
You can buy a brick on the Kitchen's website. There is a link provided in the "additional links" box on this page.
If you can't contribute monetarily, the Kitchen is always looking for donations of clothing or household goods to stock their shelter with.