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hopeBUILDERS Nonprofit Provides Disabled with Accessible Homes

hopeBUILDERS

Gary Wayne| President & CEO

HopeBUILDERS provides safe, accessible and healthy homes for Kanas Citians by creating accessibility and completing repairs at no cost. We serve people with low incomes, primarily older adults and people with disabilities, working to help them age in place and stay in the homes of their choosing.

visit them here: hopebuilders-kc.org

 

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KC Cares, Kansas City’s nonprofit voice, tells the stories of Kansas City nonprofits and connects them with the community.  

Produced by Charitable Communications 

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Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

Take risks. Own success. Be Uncommon.

TW: @kauffmanfdn FB: @kauffmanfdn IG: @kauffmanfdn

Disabled But Not Really Disabled Community

Disabled But Not Really Disabled Community

On episode 374 of KC Cares, we talk with Wes Hamilton, Founder with Disabled but Not Really! Great discussion about the disabled (but not really) community! Listen now!

Disabled but Not Really | Sat Feb 22 2020

Wes Hamilton, Founder

To instill in the underserved “disabled” community, a physically limitless mindset that breeds courage, confidence, and competence.

disabledbutnotreally.org


FB: @kccaresradio TW: @kccaresradio IG: @kccaresonline


Also available on

Itunes || Spotify || Stitcher || Soundcloud || Youtube


KC Cares, Kansas City’s nonprofit voice, tells the stories of Kansas City nonprofits and connects them with the community.

Produced by Charitable Communications


In partnership with:

Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

Take risks. Own success. Be Uncommon.

TW: @kauffmanfdn FB: @kauffmanfdn IG: @kauffmanfdn

TRANSCRIPTION OF SHOW

Previous Episodes!

Johnson County Community Services Nonprofit Efforts

Kansas City’s Nonprofit Voice!

Sharing the stories of local nonprofits and connecting them with the community! We talk with philanthropists, volunteers, community activists, executive directors, and non-profit lovers from the Kansas City nonprofit community. Be seen, be heard with KC Cares! Kansas City’s Nonprofit Voice!

On Episode 364 of KC Cares, we talk with Terri Thompson with Prairie Fire Museum! Listen now!

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Prairie Fire Museum

Terri Thompson, Director, development and community engagement

The Museum of Prairiefire Foundation (Museum at Prairiefire) is committed to innovative learning in science, the arts and natural history. Through a founding collaboration with the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, as well as with other cultural and educational institutions in the nation, the Museum at Prairiefire (MAP) is a place that provides ACCESS FOR ALL to understand and celebrate natural history and science in our region and around the world.
The MAP engages visitors and students of all ages with world-class exhibitions, important programming, and provides significant educational and STEAM opportunities for underserved children through KC Urban Advantage 

www.visitthemap.org

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Facebook:@ Kccaresradio

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Also available on

Itunes || Spotify || Stitcher || Soundcloud || Youtube 

  • •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

KC Cares, Kansas City’s nonprofit voice, tells the stories of Kansas City nonprofits and connects them with the community.  

Produced by Charitable Communications 

In partnership with the Kauffman Foundation

Think. Do. Be Uncommon.

Transcription of Interview:

Ruth Bigus: [00:00:00] Welcome. Welcome back to KC Cares, Kansas city’s window on the nonprofit community and the people they serve on roof FOM biggest and Bobby keys. My partner is sound and King of video today. We are in a very cool space. We are at . And museum at Prairie fire, 

and

it is the map and it is a tremendous space.

I think we’ll be hearing T-Rex and some of his friends throughout the broadcast, which is just part of the fun of being here. So come on out and explore this. Great, great. Museum and activity space here in Kansas city. We are back with a lovely lady. I’ve had the privilege of knowing for a little while, and that’s Brandy Hodge, who’s the community relations man manager for Johnson County human services.

She manages all the humans.

Brandy Hodge: [00:00:56] That’s what I like to say. Yes, there you go. And services, not robot services.

Ruth Bigus: [00:01:00] You’ve got the power girl, you’ve got the power. County funded,

Brandy Hodge: [00:01:05] correct. Most of it.

Ruth Bigus: [00:01:07] Oh. But that

Brandy Hodge: [00:01:09] educate us. All right. Well, with human services, our budget actually is a lot based on grants because human services, a lot of people don’t know what human services does, what that is.

So we are actually three divisions that could almost be standalone departments. So we are the area agency on aging for Johnson County. We are also the housing authority of Johnson County covering all of Johnson County, except for the city of Aletha. Cause they have their own housing authority. And then we also have an outreach services program where we help low income neighbors with utility assistance, food pantry and other things.

But the area agency on aging and housing services, those are heavily grant funded. And so about 70% of our department is actually covered in grants.

Ruth Bigus: [00:01:52] That’s good to know. I think people make an assumption that it’s all their tax dollars taking care of this three very robust. Areas. How many people do you estimate you touch, let’s say in a given year or a month, whatever timeframe you want to boil it down to?

Brandy Hodge: [00:02:10] Let’s see. Wow. I honestly don’t know for human services as a whole, you know, when I break everything down, you know, it’s definitely thousands. I don’t know if it’s hundreds of thousands or how many, but it’s just, it depends on what program area we’re looking at. depending on. You know how many people we’re serving, but I’m always like to say with human services, it’s not just low income.

That’s a big misconception is that you have to be low income to receive services because with the area agency on aging, that’s one. Like for the home delivered meal program, meals on wheels that is 60. I’m and over in homebound, so you don’t have to be age qualified or I’m sorry, income qualified for that program.

So just homebound, just homebound and 60 years or older. And so for that program, that’s where we serve the entire County. So every zip code in Johnson County is pretty much touched with that program.

Ruth Bigus: [00:03:06] How do people find out or get into a program like that?

Brandy Hodge: [00:03:09] A lot of times what happens is word of mouth or with programs such as the home delivered meal program, meals on wheels.

It’s just such a robust program. People know about it. It’s been established since world war II. Our department’s been around since the 70s. And so to kind of get started is that we have, aging information specialist and you can call them and they kind of are just your single point of entry. And to services and they can help you with whatever you have questions about, whether it’s nursing home, if it’s transportation, if it’s aging in place, which of course that’s what everyone wants to do.

Do

Ruth Bigus: [00:03:44] you actually provide the services or do you become a connector to other resources, let’s say for in home health care or, you know, helping, , get a home. And a condition for somebody, let’s say, who’s got some mobility issues?

Brandy Hodge: [00:04:02] So  a little bit of both. We work with contractors, work with private agencies, and then also, you know, we do some other services in home.

So doing case management, doing the meals on wheels program, doing catch a ride, providing transportation, with the housing authority. We also have minor home program and home program where we can help, repair homes that may need. some assistance, and of course, that one is income eligible.

Ruth Bigus: [00:04:30] Let’s go back to meals on wheels.

I’m always curious who’s cooking the meals and whose then putting them on the wheels and taking them out to people.

Brandy Hodge: [00:04:36] Oh, that’s a great question. So for, we always want to try to call it home delivered meals first, but home delivered meals. Everyone knows it is meals on wheels. Yes. used to be kind of mom and pop cooking, but just over time now what we do is we have a contract agency and they’re called Valley services.

They make over 600 meals a day, and Aletha. And they start cooking really early in the morning before most of us even wake up and all the food is freshly prepared every day. It may. When it is, I’m actually prepared. It actually looks kind of like a TV dinner, but it’s not, it’s not a frozen meal. It’s they get a hot entree and they also get a cold bag.

And we have volunteers that then over a thousand volunteers a year, deliver those meals to homebound seniors in their home. And we have seven different pickups, places where volunteers pick up the meals and deliver, and it’s Monday through Friday.

Ruth Bigus: [00:05:29] That’s tremendous.

Brandy Hodge: [00:05:32] W

Ruth Bigus: [00:05:32] what’s happening with our aging population?

Give us a snapshot. We hear about national statistics, how the population is. Just starting to soar. We’re living longer, so what’s it like in Johnson County and since you’re delivering some of those services,

Brandy Hodge: [00:05:47] right. I think another great guest for you would definitely be Dan Goodman, who’s a director of the area agency on aging because he can give you definitely the statistics and all that, all the numbers.

I’m definitely just more of a bigger overview, but what I would say is, definitely Johnson County is the best place to age because of the services that we provide. I have a grandma that’s in Missouri and I can tell you, and it’s not to dismiss Zuri, it’s only because I’m from a small home, a small farm town, you know?

So of course when you’re in a bigger city, you have a lot more services available. Here in Johnson County, we definitely focus on trying to have seniors age in place. And so we have a lot of programs available that aren’t available in smaller

Ruth Bigus: [00:06:23] cities. Well, let’s get into housing then.

Brandy Hodge: [00:06:25] Okay. Tell us what,

Ruth Bigus: [00:06:26] what, what you got going on in that

Brandy Hodge: [00:06:29] little

Okay. One of our biggest things we’ve been working with with housing this year is we hired a housing landlord recruiter, and that is actually to work with landlords in the community because what housing has done over the last 10 15 years is kind of move away from what they call section eight housing and move more into housing choice voucher, allowing people to choose where they want to live.

And so by doing that with, then we work with individual landlords and a lot of misconceptions about housing. Cause people not to want to work with us. And so what we do is we have, and now a new position where we have someone out in the community that’s working on building those relationships and really getting people to want to work with us.

Ruth Bigus: [00:07:09] And how’s that going so far?

Brandy Hodge: [00:07:10] So far? Awesome. I’m, I’m hoping to, you know, get some, some numbers out. We know, due to confidentiality, we don’t want to say what agencies are working with us, but we have made a lot of lot of progress in the last three or four months. I’m getting some big names to help us. And so what that does is that not only opens the opportunity for those who have housing choice vouchers to choose where they want to live, it gives them a variety.

And we’re working on trying to get more locations available, different cities available. And you know, just so that people again, are, are being able to live where they want to live.

Ruth Bigus: [00:07:44] We’re seeing all these apartments going up in the County. And I often wonder. Who’s living there, and some of them are not inexpensive to say the least.

So it’s gotta be kind of a challenge, I would think.

Brandy Hodge: [00:07:54] Definitely. Definitely, yes. So and, and on that program, then we have David Ward who is the housing director for that as well. And so he definitely could speak to what’s going on with the housing development and what we’re doing, what initiatives we’re going.

In that area. What other

Ruth Bigus: [00:08:12] programs are within that whole housing area? Are there like weatherization?

Brandy Hodge: [00:08:18] We no longer do weatherization. We actually work with econ, which is out of Ottawa. And so if someone needs weatherization, we would just refer them out to another agency. but we do have a minor home program and a home program, which help, who people who own their homes, who are low income, that will help them with.

home repairs. A lot of it is led. Abatement is getting, you know,

Ruth Bigus: [00:08:41] so in this problem, I would right

Brandy Hodge: [00:08:42] site a different city site of violations helping with those. And so we have a great team that goes out and they do inspections. Again, we work with private contractors who do the work and it just helps people get their house up to code to where they can, again, Asian place and live there as long as possible.

Ruth Bigus: [00:08:59] And not pay penalties,

Brandy Hodge: [00:09:00] correct. Correct. Absolutely.

Ruth Bigus: [00:09:02] We forget that those are part of the whole. The whole mix. Let’s talk about your third area.

Brandy Hodge: [00:09:08] Our third area is what I know the most about cause I’m on the outreach team. And so outreach services is basically where we partner with a lot of different nonprofits to just bring services to community level, helping low income neighbors in need with different a variety of services.

Our bread and butter is what we. Is the utility assistance program. We have a half million dollar budget for that, and it’s really helping those with pastor utilities to, help them with those past due bills.

Ruth Bigus: [00:09:36] So how does somebody get into the system?

Brandy Hodge: [00:09:39] We have one number for that as well. for that number, it’s nine one three seven one five, six, six, five, three.

And what they do is they call that number, they get screened and then based on their zip code, would be what center they go to. We have four different locations where they can go, when they are meeting with one of our. S a S staff. Basically the staff can kind of assess to see if there’s additional needs.

Do they need food pantry? Are there other areas that where we could free up money that they could use towards other things? cause a lot of people need assistance and more areas that we can’t help with. So if we free up areas like food, then they can spend that money on additional bills that they may have.

We also are a vendor for the Kansas city medicine cabinet. So one of our great partnerships is working with, we work with the department of corrections currently. And so we go out to the adult residential center in Gardner. And when people, are in their custody, they can actually get eyeglasses. And there is a lot of people who are currently in custody who.

Who need those, you know? And then that also helps with your self esteem. That helps you when you get your jobs that may help with behavioral issues, headaches, medical, different things like that. So that’s one service that we’re helping kind of cross departmental, partner partnership that we started this year.

Ruth Bigus: [00:10:56] And so working with medicine. ,

Brandy Hodge: [00:10:59] the Cassidy medicine cabinet. Do

Ruth Bigus: [00:11:01] they provide the medication? Do they come and do screening?

Brandy Hodge: [00:11:04] How does that work? So basically people would come in, we provide a voucher for services and there’s certain vent. There’s different locations that they can go to to get eyeglasses, to get their prescription drugs for durable medical equipment.

Like hearing AIDS, we can help with those things. we’re not, you know, a lot of people think if, you know, Oh, I’m going to come in and get an eye exam in your office. We’re not the doctor. So we would just get, basically we do the screening process or to determine the eligibility and we’re making sure that people provide their income qualifications and all their information that we need for, proof of proof of residency and things like that.

And then we provide the voucher.

Ruth Bigus: [00:11:41] What else falls under outreach. It’s a pretty robust thing on your website. I know. I kept going, Oh wow, you do this and you do this and you do this.

Brandy Hodge: [00:11:48] Another thing that we add have started working with as we work with the school districts. That’s a big partnership. We work with project home, which is the, the Shawnee mission school district.

And we work with impact Aletha and that’s through Aletha school district, and that is helping the McKinney Vento families who are at or near homeless, and it’s helping them. We basically, not we, but we’re a partner of their agencies. We all kind of create a one stop shop where they may have 10 to 20 different nonprofits in a room and they get all these families together and people partner.

So we may be able to help someone with a couple hundred dollars but if we partner with local churches and we partner with salvation army or Catholic charities, we can build together more money to help these families either prevent homelessness or even help them, you know, reconnect utilities and things like that.

Ruth Bigus: [00:12:38] How big of an issue is. Homelessness in Johnson County,

Brandy Hodge: [00:12:41] it’s definitely a huge issue. Um. I, I know that it’s, it’s definitely, you know, a hot topic here in Johnson County and one of the areas that we work with is the prevention side. So we are really trying to help people because once you know, someone is evicted and they’re homeless, then it’s a lot, you know, the steps to get them.

Housed is a lot more advanced and it’s just more than what the resources that we have that we can handle at this point.

Ruth Bigus: [00:13:07] You’re trying to be the preventative,

Brandy Hodge: [00:13:09] the preventative gets to that

Ruth Bigus: [00:13:10] point. The impression I get, and I know this is not your deep dive area, is Bobby has been in California before and he’s just commented every time when he comes back, how much homelessness and how visible it is.

It seems here in Johnson County, you don’t. See that picture the same way you may see it

Brandy Hodge: [00:13:30] absolutely.

Ruth Bigus: [00:13:31] In their communities, it’s more

Brandy Hodge: [00:13:32] hidden. It is. It’s a lot. It’s hidden because people sleep in their cars. People also are, you know, sleeping on people’s couches. You know, couch surfing that it’s definitely hidden.

We don’t have people, you know, in Johnson County, not visible on streets and things, but there are homeless camps in the community.

Ruth Bigus: [00:13:51] You’re working with people who have some need. Mental health often comes into that picture. So does, what does your department do? Do you team up with the ed health department?

So how do you all work? Because these are complex. Situations.

Brandy Hodge: [00:14:09] Absolutely. There’s a lot of crossover between the departments, any of the social service agencies. And so if we can, and a client has signed a release, then we can work together, you know, again, cause a confidentiality and HIPAA, then we have to make sure that we’re following those standards.

But there’s a lot of crossover. Mental health refers a lot of clients to our services, whether it may be transportation through the catch ride program to get them to. Mental health appointments or get them to medical appointments or grocery store. for health and environment, we’re definitely, you know, letting people know what, when, where the clinics are, what services can be provided, immunizations, things like that.

Just to make sure that people are aware of how many awesome things that the County provides.

Ruth Bigus: [00:14:52] How can people find out. About any of

Brandy Hodge: [00:14:56] this. Definitely just go to the Joko gov website, www dot  dot org and I think, you know, using the search tool, you know, at the very top, typing in things should help you find things.

if not, there’s always, you know, a connect page where you can actually go to a contact page and they’ll connect you with the right department. for services. The County provides so many things that a lot of people just aren’t aware about.

Ruth Bigus: [00:15:22] Right? That’s right. As I was tooling through it, that’s what I noticed.

You said. You guys can use some volunteers. So how do people

Brandy Hodge: [00:15:30] yes, do that. We host our volunteer orientations twice a month, and so we’ll have one coming up the first Tuesday in December, and that is from one to three at early. The office located off a hundred 18th in Ridgeview. Our biggest need is always for the catcher ride program, taking people to the grocery store or doctor appointments, social service agencies, as well as the home delivered meals, meals on wheels program.

You’re taking, you know, providing the noon lunch to people. we always need food, dries for our food pantries, and also can’t accept monetary donations.

Ruth Bigus: [00:16:04] Brandy, thank you for coming in and giving us the nuts and bolts of all things human services. It’s great to have you and you’ll keep us up to date on things.

Yeah, no, they keep developing.

Brandy Hodge: [00:16:14] Right? Ever-changing,

Ruth Bigus: [00:16:16] ever-changing. Thank you for listening to KC Cares. Kansas city’s nonprofit digital resource were produced by charitable communications. A five Oh one C three nonprofit organization. KC Cares is generously underwritten by the Ewing Marion Kauffman foundation.

And if you’ve liked what you’ve heard and you want to support. KC Cares. Go to KC Cares online.org and if you want to be a guest, check out our website. You can spread the love and find us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter if he’s, he cares online. Thanks to the Prairie fire museum. Come check it out.

Great resource of glad to be here and thank you for listening to KC Cares on ESPN 15:10 AM. And 94.5 FM .

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Find us on

Facebook:@ Kccaresradio

Twitter: @kccaresradio

Instagram: @Kccaresonline

_________________________

Also available on

Itunes || Spotify || Stitcher || Soundcloud || Youtube

KC Cares, Kansas City’s nonprofit voice, tells the stories of Kansas City nonprofits and connects them with the community.  Produced by Charitable Communications

In partnership with the Kauffman Foundation

Think. Do. Be Uncommon.

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Sharing the stories of local nonprofits and connecting them with the community! We talk with philanthropists, volunteers, community activists, executive directors, and nonprofit lovers from the Kansas City nonprofit community. Be seen, be heard with KC Cares! Kansas City’s Nonprofit Digital Resource!

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Twitter: @kccaresradio

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KC Cares, Kansas City’s nonprofit voice, tells the stories of Kansas City nonprofits and connects them with the community.  Produced by Charitable Communications

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