Resurrection opens first new Downtown church in a century

The Rev. Scott Chrostek in the new 450-seat worship space at Resurrection Downtown.

If you’re looking for a symbol of how Downtown Kansas City has revived in recent years, search no further than the new Church of the Resurrection which opens this weekend at 1601 Grand, reported Kevin Collison, in this morning’s CityScene KC.

“When I moved here from Detroit in 2009, the Downtown Council’s slogan was ‘live, work and play,’” observed the Rev. Scott Chrostek, pastor of Resurrection Downtown aka RezDT. “For me, we’re part of the resurgence of Downtown. We started with nine people in 2009 and we now have over 1,000 members with 150 kids.

“It’s a natural progression in the building of the city’s vibrant live, work and play environment.”

He was standing in the 450-seat worship space of the new $10.2 million building, the first completely new church to be built Downtown in more than a century. Most of Downtown’s churches were built during the last quarter of the 19th Century.

But the Leawood-based United Methodist Church of the Resurrection saw a promising demographic as Downtown began to revive with new residential projects. It began services nine years ago in borrowed space at the Grand Avenue Temple.

The new Resurrection Downtown Church at 1601 Grand was designed by Gould Evans.

As the congregation grew, it bought the former Crosstown Station, a bar and music club at 1522 McGee in 2011 and welcomed 675 members from all walks of life and ages, two-thirds of whom lived within five miles of Downtown. Things got so big, the church had to use the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts for its Easter services.

A second location was purchased in 2013 at 15th and Grand to provide office space, classrooms and additional worship space.

And then in 2015, The Kansas City Star’s former employee parking lot, a full city block between Grand and McGee, from 16th to 17th streets became available. The church bought the property and hired Gould Evans architects to design its new 17,520 square-foot building. A.L. Huber was the general contractor and construction manager.

And it has plenty of room to grow with eventual plans to double its size with an addition on its east side that will expand the worship space to 750 seats and add more space for offices, a pre-school and daycare center.

But right now, Chrostek enjoyed how his new church interacts not only with the community who worships there, but the surrounding neighborhood.

To read more, visit CitySceneKC.com – your independent source for news of Downtown Kansas City.

The first official worship services at RezDT are set for Saturday at 5:10 p.m., and Sunday at 9 a.m., 10:45 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Vote today for reStart – national competition for $65K grant

Ninety seconds of your time will make all the difference to Kansas City’s homeless youth, veterans and families.

reStart has been selected as a finalist – one of eight organizations nationally – for the coveted Opus Foundation’s Gerry Rauenhorst Building Community Award. This year’s winner will be awarded $65,000 to commemorate Opus’ rich history and tradition that began 65 years ago. For their impactful work, the remaining finalists will receive $5,000 each.

reStart, of course, is a juggernaut in Downtown Kansas City. Its mission is to provide housing and services to homeless youth, families, men, and women to end homelessness in Downtown and the larger community.

But reStart needs our help to win the $65K grant – it currently ranks 4th in the balloting. Visit the Opus Foundation website, watch the reStart video, and then click the “vote” button under the reStart name:

http://bit.ly/2qUnTNV

You can vote once on each of your devices — phone, laptop, tablet, home computer, work computer — plus all of your family’s and friends’ devices, as well! Voting continues until 3 p.m. Friday (CDT), so don’t delay!

And, please share this message on your social media channels and with your friends, so we can reach as many people as possible. Thank you for helping us make an impact in our community!

DCSC: Juggernaut of care for homeless & hungry

The Downtown Community Services Center  in Downtown Kansas City recently reached milestones with reStart and the Kansas City Community Kitchen at its humble home at 8th & Paseo.

reStart, the DCSC’s first tenant, marks its fourth anniversary of providing shelter and supportive services to homeless men, women, youth and families with the goal of helping them move toward self-sufficiency and ending homelessness in our community. In 2012, reStart provided support to 6,680 adults, 3,370 families and 1,367 children, and made a bold move by opening the Housing Solutions Center (HSC).

“That placed us at the forefront of a new approach to working with the homeless in our community: helping prevent at-risk families and individuals from becoming homeless in the first place, or helping to rapidly find new housing for them if they do lose their homes,” said Evie Craig, reStart executive director. “The HSC provides focused case management services for our clients to help them reach their goals.”

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The Kansas City Community Kitchen, operated by Episcopal Community Services, recently marked its second anniversary at the DCSC. Each weekday, hundreds of hungry people in Downtown line up and wait for the clock to strike noon. For the next two hours, the doors will be open and the Community Kitchen will serve about 600 hot meals. Some of these hungry people are homeless—most have jobs, but do not have enough to eat.

“This facility has not only allowed us to serve more people in need, but also to do so in a way that improves health and provides hope for a better future,” said John Hornbeck, of ECS. “All of this would not have been possible without the Downtown business community. And, we need their help now with funding for food to serve at the kitchen.”

In the two years, the Community Kitchen served more than 310,000 hot, nutritious meals – an increase of nearly 53,000 meals or 20.4 percent over the kitchen’s previous location. Hornbeck explained that a fundraising effort is under way to make sure that the Community Kitchen keeps its pantries full of fresh and healthy foods.

You can help today by donating to this noble cause with a modest contribution. The following levels have been established for the Community Kitchen. For more information, visit Donate Now for Hunger Relief.

  •  $50 – Good Neighbor – Feed one person for a month
  • $25 – Table Captain – Feed a table of guests for one day
  • $75 – Family Friends – Feed a family for two weeks
  • $100 – Hands Together – Feed a couple for a month
  • $150 – Food to Go – Meals-on-Wheels Food for a Week
  • $200 – Keep it Fresh – one day rescue & delivery of food

The roots of the DCSC began with the Downtown Council’s Human Services Committee nearly a decade ago. The Downtown Council championed the private fundraising of more than $1 million to purchase the building at 8th & Paseo in 2007 and renovate it into a facility to help individuals to become healthy and re-integrated back into society.

“The committee works to ensure that human service needs of Downtown residents are met using best practices and to ensure quality of care and effectiveness of operation,” said Sean O’Byrne, vice president of the Downtown Council. “An important goal of the committee is to provide a safe, accessible, full service, daytime, multi-use facility to assist the homeless community in the delivery of services Downtown.”

 

DCSC: An Urban Model for Human Services

The Downtown Community Services Center, a juggernaut of care for the homeless and hungry in Downtown Kansas City, recently reached milestones with reStart and the Kansas City Community Kitchen at its humble home at 8th & Paseo.

reStart, the DCSC’s first tenant, marks its fourth anniversary of providing shelter and supportive services to homeless men, women, youth and families with the goal of helping them move toward independence and self-sufficiency and ending homelessness in our community. In 2012, reStart provided support to 6,680 adults, 3,370 families and 1,367 children, and made a bold move by opening the Housing Solutions Center (HSC).

“That placed us at the forefront of a new approach to working with the homeless in our community: helping prevent at-risk families and individuals from becoming homeless in the first place, or helping to rapidly find new housing for them if they do lose their homes,” said Evie Craig, reStart executive director. “The HSC provides focused case management services for our clients to help them reach their goals.”

The Kansas City Community Kitchen, operated by Episcopal Community Services, recently marked its second anniversary at the DCSC. Each weekday, hundreds of hungry people in Downtown line up and wait for the clock to strike noon. For the next two hours, the doors will be open and the Community Kitchen will serve about 600 hot meals. Some of these hungry people are homeless—most have jobs, but do not have enough to eat. They are known as the “working poor” and their population is growing.

“This facility has not only allowed us to serve more people in need, but also to do so in a way that improves health and provides hope for a better future,” said John Hornbeck, of ECS. “All of this would not have been possible without the Downtown business community.”

In the two years, the Community Kitchen served more than 310,000 hot, nutritious meals – an increase of nearly 53,000 meals or 20.4 percent over the kitchen’s previous location. The roots of the DCSC began with the Downtown Council’s Human Services Committee nearly a decade ago.

“The committee works to ensure that human service needs of Downtown residents are met using best practices and to ensure quality of care and effectiveness of operation,” said Sean O’Byrne, DTC vice president. “An important goal of the committee is to provide a safe, accessible, full service, daytime, multi-use facility to assist the homeless community in the delivery of services Downtown.”

The Downtown Council championed the private fundraising of more than $1 million to purchase the building at 8th & Paseo in 2007 and renovate it into a facility to help individuals to become healthy and re-integrated back into society.

Downtown Council of Kansas City Committed To Human Services

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.

New Community Kitchen Opens In Downtown Kansas City

Leaders from the Downtown Council (DTC), Episcopal Community Services (ECS), and reStart, recently came together to celebrate the opening of the new Kansas City Community Kitchen.  Over 150 people attended this event which was catered by the new kitchen.

The Community Kitchen, developed in partnership with the DTC and ECS, opened in the Downtown Community Services Center (DCSC) at 8th & Paseo. The 4,000-square-foot dining facility, capable of serving 1,000 people for lunch, shares the two-level building with reStart, a social service agency for the homeless. The DSCS is located within a short walk to other major facilities for the homeless on the east side of Downtown.

“Responding to hunger and homelessness in Downtown Kansas City has been a challenge,” said Sean O’Byrne, Downtown Council’s Vice President of Business Development. “We are working to launch a new ‘best practices’ model of human services in our community.” Read more