reStart, Inc. is a Kansas City, Missouri interfaith ministry to
homeless persons. The mission of reStart Inc. is to provide shelter
and supportive services to homeless men, women, youth and families
with children with the goal of helping persons move toward independence
and self-sufficiency. In 1984 an inter-faith group of concerned
clergy and citizens from the Kansas City metro area started the
non-profit corporation for the purpose of serving homeless persons.
When reStart first began providing shelter in the early 1980's,
shelter residents were adult men and some women-single persons who
were visible on the streets of downtown Kansas City. The number
of homeless families with children has increased significantly over
the past decade; families with children are among the fastest growing
segments of the homeless population. Since 1996, the number of children
and youth sheltered at reStart has increased by 1200%. To put these
numbers in a child's perspective, consider this: In Halloween of
2002, reStart had to provide costumes for 41 children; this year,
they had 90 trick or treaters.
reStart has been providing on average 80,000 bed nights of emergency
and transitional shelter to approximately 2,000 homeless guests
(men, women, and families) annually since 1991. During 2002, reStart
welcomed 2,312 unduplicated persons as guests for a total of 75,909
nights of shelter. They are pacing significantly ahead of this in
reStart is the recipient of two supportive housing contracts from
HUD, which provide space for up to 38 families at one time and an
average of more than 100 families annually. One HUD contract is
funded under the Kansas City Project and provides partial support
for families with children in transitional housing. The housing
is in a building that is annexed to reStart's main facility at 9th
and Harrison in the urban core of Kansas City. Twelve families live
in the facility in separate apartments on three floors. The apartments
have one or two bedrooms, a bathroom, full kitchen/dining area and
living room. Laundry facilities are located on each floor. Families
purchase and prepare their own meals and pay their own utilities
and telephone. reStart provides maintenance services, garbage removal
and pays for utilities in the common spaces.
A second HUD contract supports transitional living for families
with children at reStart East (formerly known as Peery House). Transitional
housing is provided to families with children, headed by single
mothers. This facility includes seven family rooms, a central kitchen,
dining facilities and shared laundry and recreation areas. reStart
provides food to allow for residents to prepare their own meals.
reStart is responsible for utilities and all operating costs as
well as maintenance of the building. A casemanager and other social
services staff are on hand regularly. The large lot provides ample
room for children to play outdoors. This contract also supports
transitional housing for families with children on two floors of
reStart's main facility.
reStart also operates a Family Emergency Shelter. A large percentage
of the families that enter into the transitional housing programs
were former residents in the Family Emergency Shelter. Most of the
families sign up for both Section 8 and Public Housing before entering
the Family Transitional Living Program.
The average length of stay per family is eight to ten months. However,
families may stay as long as it takes for them to achieve financial
stability and permanent housing, up to 24 months. Strengths-Based
Case Management identifies the factors that led to families becoming
homeless and utilizes families' strengths to assemble the community
resources that will insure their future stability. When families
leave reStart, they have the resources in place in the community
to prevent them from relapsing into homelessness.
reStart's programs are comprehensive and include the following:
- Shelter-Overnight Emergency and Family Emergency Shelter
- Transitional Living-Room and board for up to 6 months
for a maximum capacity of 75 single adults and 24 months for a
maximum capacity of 43 families with children, including counseling
and intensive case management.
- Youth Services-Emergency shelter for 10 boys ages 12
- 18 and street outreach for runaway and homeless youth.
- Economic Development-Hands-on training to help homeless
people acquire jobs by providing on-site employment to current
and immediate past residents.
Supportive Services-Health care; educational assistance; chemical
dependency support groups; life skills classes; housing assistance;
and HIV/AIDS care.
- Employment referrals-Employment referrals are provided
through Helping Hand of Goodwill and the State of Missouri Department
Job counseling-On-site classes take place twice a week.
- Health care-Twice a week health care is provided on-site
through the Swope Parkway Health Center mobile team. Testing for
tuberculosis is available quarterly. HIV/AIDS testing is available
two times a month through the Good Samaritan Project.
- Parenting Classes-The KCMO school district provides a
facilitator for parenting education classes.
- Substance Abuse Counseling- A full-time substance abuse
counselor is available to work with individuals and families as
- Mental Health Services-Truman Behavioral Network offers
assistance for individuals diagnosed with a mental health disability.
For the most part, services are provided free; however, participants
are asked to contribute a small amount based on a sliding scale.
This nominal fee serves as a step toward developing the skills
needed to transition to
self-sufficiency. Transitional housing guests agree to stay sober
and drug free; they also agree to work with a casemanager in setting
and meeting goals toward independence.
Each day, more than 230 people find shelter at reStart. Despite
diverse backgrounds, all reStart guests share the same barriers
to self-sufficiency and integration into the mainstream. They
also share an opportunity to "reStart" their
Residents of reStart's
Transitional Housing Programs can enjoy the comforts of home
at Peery House
Residents of reStart's Peery House can enjoy the outdoors by
sitting on their front porch