Over the last two years, the Downtown Council of Kansas City (DTC) championed the private fund raising of more than $1 million to buy and build a home for reStart, a social service agency for the homeless, and the Community Kitchen, operated by Episcopal Community Services. The Downtown Community Services Center at 8th and Paseo provides case management, housing assistance, medical services and hot meals daily to more than 500 people who are either homeless or at risk of homelessness.

“Responding to hunger and homelessness in Downtown Kansas City has been a challenge,” said Sean O’Byrne, Vice President of the Downtown Council. “In response to this need, we have launched a new ‘best practices’ model of human services in our community.”

That “best practices” model has not only inspired the human services community in Kansas City, but also has drawn international attention. In 2010, the Downtown Council received a Merit Award from the International Downtown Association for its leadership and management related to the Community Kitchen and Downtown Community Services Center. In addition, the DTC recently received the Alice Warren Award for excellence in community collaboration from the Homeless Services Coalition of Greater Kansas City.

Just last week, Kansas City’s National Public Radio station, KCUR 89.3 FM, presented a story about the Downtown Council’s commitment to human services in Downtown. Click this link to read and listen to the compelling KCUR story. For the audio, simply press the “listen now” button.