Human Services

Artists Helping the Homeless, Inc.

  • Kansas City, MO
  • www.artistshelpingthehomeless.org

Mission Statement

Believing helping the homeless helps our community, we seek to reduce the need and cost of homeless care in Kansas City by: Providing aid with respect Providing advocacy for those seeking to leave the street Raising awareness of homeless issues in Kansas City Working with, rather than duplicating existing services Addressing underlying causes We facilitate the path off the street by helping the homeless identify and access resources to meet immediate needs and address underlying issues. The program is unique in several ways: Client Oriented: The BE THE CHANGE Program works with clients where they are, literally and figuratively, and uses the individual, rather than institutions as its starting point.Continuum of Care: Accompanying clients throughout their path off the street improves coordination and consistency of service. Follow-up meetings provide encouragement, support, and allow plans to be adjusted as clients progress.True Collaboration: Focused on improving the collective impact of the local safety net, the program addresses individual and systemic challenges, thus improving outcomes and efficiency for other agencies.Not Facility Based: Instead of making clients come to us, we meet them where they are: on the streets, in hospitals, care facilities, police stations, homeless and recovery services, shelters and transitional living houses --- frequently in facilities of other agencies.Effective with Chronic Homeless: The intensive street outreach that stays in touch with this mobile and hard to reach clientele and follow-up meetings that provide ongoing support and engagement has proven effective with the chronic homeless and at risk young adult homeless.Return on Investment: By providing access to more appropriate resources and, ultimately helping clients off the street, the program has saved hospitals, ambulance, police and judicial services over $10,000,000 or over $5 for each $1 invested in the program.

Main Programs

  1. Be the Change Program
  2. Bodhi House (Respite Group Home)
  3. Finnegan Place
  4. Meal Programs (Sunday and Thursday)
Service Areas

Self-reported

Missouri

MO - Jackson County Urban Core

ruling year

2008

Principal Officer since 2008

Self-reported

Kar Y Woo

Keywords

Self-reported

BE THE CHANGE, intensive street outreach, dynamic care coordination, collective impact, Helping the Homeless, Helping the Community, homeless, hospital, health care, transportation

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Also Known As

BE THE CHANGE Program

EIN

26-2063489

 Number

2850932156

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Homeless Services/Centers (P85)

Hot Line, Crisis Intervention (F40)

Personal Social Services (P50)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

In 2015, the BE THE CHANGE Program helped over 1,840 people from all segments of Kansas City's homeless population identify and access a wide range of services, individually tailored to address issues that led to or resulted from being homeless. Its longitudinal, client-oriented approach proved effective with more challenging chronic homeless cases, causing it to be dubbed ""The Safety Net for the Safety Net."" Working with homeless clients and the agencies that serve them, the program creates innovative, collaborative solutions to individual and systemic challenges. Three 2015 initiatives helped over 200 homeless off the street. Save Our Seniors secured nursing home placement for 130 area homeless, often chronic homeless individuals with disabilities or chronic illnesses that relied heavily on local hospitals and emergency services. With better nutrition, hygiene and health care, their reliance is substantially reduced. Respite Care Housing (Bodhi House) eliminated the need to return to the street while waiting to be admitted to treatment programs and housing. Case workers from collaborating agencies provided wrap around services. Residents participate in community service, physical fitness, coping skills, social reintegration and AA/NA/SMART activities. Over 80% of Bodhi residents progressed to treatment or housing. Judicial/Jail Diversion: The program's success with clients in drug and mental health courts prompted prosecutors and judges to explore applying the longitudinal approach to homeless judicial cases. Pilot programs in Cass and Jackson Counties are being expanded. The program also partners with the Kansas Rainbow Center and the new KCMO Community Crisis Center. The program's care coordination, street outreach and continuum support improves outcomes and efficiency for area homeless, collaborating agencies and local hospitals, judicial and emergency services.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Be the Change Program

Our core program reduces the need and cost of care for the homeless by helping clients identify and access appropriate resources and facilitating their path off the street. Using the individual, rather than institutions as its starting point, the program draws on evidence-based practices and tailors services to the client, accompanying them throughout their path off the street. The program improves the collective impact of Kansas City's homeless services safety net by filling gaps with a wide range of services including transportation, advocacy, housing and care coordination. An intensive outreach meets clients where they are, literally and figuratively. A client-oriented approach tailors services to meet immediate needs and address underlying issues. Coordinating these services reduces fragmentation and duplication and allows multiple issues to be addressed concurrently. Working with clients throughout their path off the street improves focus, consistency and engagement.

Category

Human Services, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Homeless

Budget

250,000

Program 2

Bodhi House (Respite Group Home)

This 11 bed midtown facility was added to the BE THE CHANGE Program Tool Box in 2015 to provide respite housing and basic needs for chronic homeless men wanting to get off the street. Away from the chaos of the street, residents work with case workers provided by referring agencies. House staff support the case managers with a holistic approach that includes group exercise program at local gyms, AA/NA and SMART meetings, community service and coping skills training. Compliance with court and treatment plans is monitored and rides to medical, legal and other appointments provided/ A pilot program utilizing Salvation Army MOSOS to provided respite housing for this population to bridge time needed for entry into treatment and housing programs or fill gaps between steps in recovery (wait times for treatment can run 2-8 weeks). The goal was to avoid relapse and maintains contact with this highly mobile clientele to improve efficiency. When MOSOS closed, Bodhi House was opened.

Category

Housing, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Homeless

Other Named Groups

Substance Abusers (Drug/Alcohol Abusers)

Budget

325,000

Program 3

Finnegan Place

Clean, sober and ready to be on their own, the homeless find limited housing choices due to lack of funds for deposits, a history with evictions, repossessions and legal issues or inability to pay rent during a lay-off or reduced hours. That often mean neighbors who use alcohol or drugs. Having no or only a small circle of supportive friends adds to the challenge for long-term sobriety, increased financial well being and stability. Finnegan Place, a 18 unit apartment building in midtown, provides a monitored clean and sober environment with peer support. The BE THE CHANGE Program provides support and rides to work, school, appointments and AA meetings as well as coping skills classes, community service, physical fitness and social programs. Case workers from collaborating agencies can efficiently provide wrap around services to multiple clients. Finnegan Place can house 40 residents in 6 two-bedroom and 12 one-bedroom newly renovated all-electric apartments.

Category

Housing, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Budget

Program 4

Meal Programs (Sunday and Thursday)

The two meal programs are an integral part of the BE THE CHANGE Program's intensive street outreach. The Sunday in the park (outdoor) dinner in midtown KCMO and Thursday sit down meal at the Center of Grace in Olathe are a chance to meet or catch up with area homeless. These meals provide an opportunity to build trust and rapport with area homeless and for the homeless to express concerns for others who may be in need, or to request assistance including help entering detox or treatment programs. The Sunday meal serves 60-120 servings, rain or shine. In Olathe, 250-300 servings are provided. Meals are prepared and served by volunteers usually from local churches and synagogues.

Category

Human Services, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Homeless

Budget

Service Areas

Self-reported

Missouri

MO - Jackson County Urban Core

Additional Documents

Funding Needs

The BE THE CHANGE Program continues to develop and building a solid foundation while addressing community challenges. Capital Campaign: The top priority is to refurbish and retire the debt on the recently acquired Finnegan Place. Projects include replacing the roof, adding a laundry room, meeting rooms and storage facilities. The drive goal is $500,000. Hand-Up Funds: When homeless clients can't afford boots or tools needed for a job, help with rent to keep their housing, school supplies and other seemingly simple things in order to take the next step; a hand-up can be provided through small gifts set earmarked to the AHH Hand Up Fund.. Handicap Accessible Shuttle: The addition of a handicap accessible shuttle bus improves program capability and efficiency. Currently, the program is unable to accommodate motorized wheelchairs and must make multiple trips to take Bodhi House and Finnegan Place residents to off-site programs. The cost of an appropriately equipped bus is $80,000.Board Members: The Board is seeking to add 2-3 members interested in fostering innovation, collaboration and oversight. Specific areas of need are property management, management/accounting, and fund raising/public relations.

Accreditations

External Reviews

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

ARTISTS HELPING THE HOMELESS INC
Fiscal year: Jan 01-Dec 31
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Artists Helping the Homeless, Inc.

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2015 and 2014
  • Board Chair, Board Co-Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Principal Officer

Kar Y Woo

BIO

Kar. Woo obtained a Bachelors in Psychology with work toward a Masters in Counseling at the KU before starting a business when his family immigrated to the US. For nearly 30 years, he operated a retail gift, fine art and furniture business with residential and commercial projects throughout the midwest. In 2010, Mr. Woo closed his business to tackle the community problem of the need and cost of care for the homeless. With a grant from the Saint Luke's Foundation, he launched the BE THE CHANGE Program. He spent the last 6½ years on the street 7 nights a week working with the homeless and agencies that serve them. He has become acutely familiar with local health, emergency, homeless and recovery services. He has Missouri Recovery Support Specialist accreditation. Today, he is well known and highly respected by the target population and wider community. He has twice made presentations to the National Health Care for the Homeless Conference, the Kansas Conference on Poverty, the Missouri Leadership Challenge and received numerous local honors. Kar Woo says his life prepared him for the BE THE CHANGE Program. After attending school in Kowloon, he came to the US to study at Waldorf College in Iowa, then the University of Iowa and KU. Woo became accustomed to asking questions to understand campus language and customs. While his apartment building burned, he found himself on the street and, uninsured, owing for the furnishings the fire destroyed. Starting and operating his business also provided a wealth of personal and business lessons. He first encountered the homeless when he moved his store near the Plaza. Walking his dog in Mill Creek Park one Sunday night, he saw MNU students talking and serving homeless people dinner. He joined in, heard their stories and realized he could help them identify and access resources to address their issues much as he solved clients and business issues. His experiences began to come together.

STATEMENT FROM THE Principal Officer

" Helping the Homeless, Helping the Community is our motto and what we do each day. A while back, a client decided to go into treatment. It was the first time in over 15 years on the street he took this step. Moving him from his camp, we found a $9,000 ambulance billfor one month. He routinely visited EDs at three hospitals. His bill that year at one of the three was in six figures. He is not alone. The savings to local emergency services from his being off the street for 1 week was over $5,000. Helping him was helping the community. Kansas City is blessed with a network of strong homeless services dedicated to helping the homeless. But there are gaps. Transportation is one. Without transportation, the homeless cannot access shelters and homeless services. Others in shelters, often families including domestic violence victims, need transportation to access medical, legal and housing services. The BE THE CHANGE VAN Program fills the gap. Therides provide an opportunity to talk with our riders, enabling us to link themto services and facilitate their getting off the street. Problems frequently arise. So we follow-up through their process providing advocacy, support and encouragement, a process we've dubbed coordinated care. Outcomes improved for the homeless and collaborating homeless services by filling this gap. Other gaps were revealed. Helping young adults that age out of foster care stay off the street improves their chance of not being homeless as adults. Providing seamless transitions for those in recovery when they complete one program and can't immediately enter the next program reduces the opportunity for relapse. We share an ultimate goal, helping each individual off the street, with many other committed agencies providing specialized expertise. Collaborating with these agencies provides our clients quality service while keeping costs in check. Those goals are shared by a staff and volunteers dedicated to helping people and solving problems. Our employees bring a varied experience, some they share with the homeless. Our interns bring energy and the latest concepts. Employees from collaborating agencies share their expertise and experience. Personally, this seems to be what my life has prepared me to do. Studying Psychology and Counseling in college taught me how to listen. Starting and running a business for nearly 30 years taught me the importance of listening to customers and problem solving. And I've been able to draw upon a passion for art in many forms while Helping the Homeless, Helping the Community. "

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Dean Katerndahl

Mid America Regional Council (retired)

Term: Jan 2011 - Dec 2016

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?