Homeless Transitional Home Restoration – Community Service Update
How the homeless transitional home restoration began: Two years ago while preparing to make a move into full-time ministry, pastor Scott Eberlein along with pastor Luke Kammrath and their families felt a heart calling to proceed in a slightly unconventional direction. While reading an article regarding homelessness in the Kansas City area, Scott was shocked by a few statistics:
During the 2010-2011 school year, 1,200 K-12 students in Wyandotte County experienced homelessness. The resources in this area to help those families are lacking at only about 20 – 30 beds available for use at any one time.
The newly ordained pastors moved into action and with the support of their local church home and other supporters, they were able to purchase a home in a failing neighborhood within the Kansas City, Kansas area completely debt free. After a bit of handiwork the house was ready.
Unsure how to get in touch with the families in need, Scott called upon the School District’s McKinney-Vento Act Department for assistance. They were able to send a family his way almost immediately. Since that first call, the two families have been able to provide 3,100 bed nights of hospitality.
Praising God for the successes since opening his doors, Scott decided in the Spring of 2011 that it was about time to expand capacity by purchasing the home directly next door. Again with the help of Trinity Lutheran Church and other various donors, Scott was able to purchase the second house which had been vacant for years. Vacant homes are all too common on his street and he hopes his presence and the families he’s hosting can make a positive impact on the surrounding community.
After suffering a fire some years back and vacancy since, the 100 year-old home was in dire need of repair before it would be ready to accommodate families in need. Rex Garrelts, Former Building Administrator at Trinity Lutheran Church is also on the Harmon Advisory Board Team and knows Tim Harmon well. Hearing of the need, Rex had a conversation with Tim about how Harmon could help. Tim sent our Sr. Project Manager, Tony Papish, his way who was able to step up and help.
“Tony has been instrumental in finding and managing subcontractor work on this project” says Rex. “We’ve had A LOT of generous donations of time, labor, materials, furnishings and money.” Steve Yeager with S&J Electric, Mike Vielhauer with Vielhauer Plumbing, Ty Johnson with Airtech Engineering and Andy Anderson with Drewco were among those who donated. The project could not have been completed without everyone who has helped and the recipients of these generous acts are and will be truly appreciative.
Construction of the home began in the Fall of 2011 after 6 months of demolition. The home was recently completed and is already hosting families.
The home has three bedrooms (and therefore will be able to house up to three families at one time), a main kitchen area, dining room, living room with a fireplace that is original to the home, large fenced in backyard, unfinished basement, one and a half bathrooms and a newly planted garden out front. A few interesting features uncovered in the home during demolition/construction were the solid oak doors and staircase which had been hidden under layers of paint. These have been restored and are a beautiful way to keep a bit of the historical integrity of the home.
Scott states “the greatest thing about this whole project is the people it will help out.”
If you have the desire to help in Scott’s efforts (labor or donations) please feel free to call Trinity Lutheran Church (of Mission, KS).
(Left to Right) Rex, Scott and Joel stop for a picture in the almost completed transitional home.
Underneath a few layers of paint, a beautiful oak staircase was revealed. The staircase has been stripped and restored (pictured above).
Almost completed (pictured on the left) transitional home standing next to Scott’s original home sports a garden out front. This was intentional as to allow and encourage for those in need to come by and take food at any time.
We’d love to assist you with your upcoming project. Contact us here or call 913.962.5888.