KCRM Learning Center for Men and Women

Cordellia Clark, KCRM Life Skills Coordinator, tutors a resident at the Men’s Center (left) and teaches a class at the Women’s Center.

 

The Need

Often when KCRM representatives speak to groups and individuals about homelessness, we are asked: “Why don’t they just get a job?” We generally respond with:

  1. They can get a job, but can’t maintain a job due to addiction, mental illness, poor social skills, etc., OR,
  2. They’ve been on the street so long they no longer have marketable skills that can provide a living wage. (Many cannot even fill out an online job application.)

 

In fact, KCRM has identified four barriers to our clients’ and residents’ success in the marketplace and in living interdependently in the community:

  1. Poor social and life skills (healthy relationships, budgeting, anger management, housekeeping, food preparation, etc.)
  2. Insufficient education and very limited access to adult education
  3. Lack of job-readiness skills and marketable skills
  4. Few jobs requiring limited skills that pay a living wage

 

For homeless men and women dealing with long-term mental illness and addiction, these barriers are even more difficult to overcome. Though the majority of KCRM’s current residents have completed high school, years of substance or alcohol abuse and life on the streets have eroded their social skills, their ability to follow routine, accept authority or practice good study habits. Almost 100 percent of residents need to hone skills in one or more of these areas before seeking and keeping employment paying a livable wage.

KCRM’s Response

KCRM’s staff is dedicated to our mission to “offer freedom and hope to the poor and homeless, empowering them to reach their full potential.”  We offer the following learning and growth opportunities through our Learning Center, open to residents at the Men’s Center and Women’s Center.

  1. Regularly scheduled life skills classes such as money management, healthy relationships, relapse prevention, general housekeeping, etc.
  2. GED preparation
  3. KCRM Academy: an onsite homeschool through which residents receive a Missouri State diploma
  4. Computer literacy
  5. Career guidance
  6. Assistance enrolling in colleges and technical schools
  7. Accessing tuition assistance
  8. Job readiness

 

Learning Center Expansion

Though the Learning Center enjoys a suite of rooms at our Men’s Center, currently space for this program is very limited at the KCRM Women’s Center.  To remedy this, KCRM plans to renovate the ground floor of an empty building on the Women’s Center campus to house a new Learning Center, Fitness Center, offices and multipurpose room.

Project Costs:

 Renovation (rest rooms, stairwell, exterior door)  $243,491
 Fire alarm system $23,952
 Contingency (10 percent) $26,744
 Total $294,187

 

A local foundation has issued this challenge to KCRM: Raise 50 percent or $147,093.50 and the foundation will complete the funding with a gift of $147,093.50. As of January 1, 2017, we are just $17,000 from reaching our goal!

Once we have received the foundation’s gift, we will begin renovations with the hope of completing the new Learning Center in Summer 2017.

How You Can Partner

Each gift you make toward the challenge will be matched dollar for dollar by the foundation. For more information about the expansion of KCRM’s Learning Center or how help fund it, contact Julie Larocco, chief development officer, at jlarocco@kcrm.org or 816-421-7643, ext. 141.


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