Avenue of Life
500 N 7th Street Trfy
Kansas City KS 66101
Web and Phone Contact
Telephone (816) 519-8419
Mission Statement
Our mission is to mobilize our community to equip and empower low-income individuals and families to be self-sustained and independent. Our vision is to be catalysts for transformation in our community by breaking the cycle of poverty through community development, collaborative partnerships, and wrap-around services. Our goal is to facilitate the journey from hand-outs (emergency relief) in crisis, to hand-ups (individual betterment) for those ready to rise above their circumstances, to hand-offs (community development) to indigenous leaders of a transformed community.
Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Desiree Monize
Board Chair Matt Adams
Board Chair Company Affiliation Westside Family Church
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 2013
Volunteer Opportunities
Ways to donate, support, or volunteer

Volunteer

  • We love volunteers and have many opportunities for you to partner with us through giving your time and talents! Some volunteer opportunities at Avenue of Life include sorting donations, teaching a class, tutoring a child, furniture delivery, cleaning, cooking, preparing food bags for families, administrative support, etc. Call Kim at (816) 787-6101 to schedule a volunteer group!

Donate In-Kind Items

 

  • In-Kind donations go a long way in providing transformative care to the low-income, unemployed, underemployed, and homeless families and individuals we serve. Their needs can be met by donations of items including everyday clothes, hygiene items, non-perishable food items, and furniture. Call Kim Bryan at (816) 787-6101 to schedule a donation pick-up, or drop off the following donations between 8-4 mon. - fri.:
  • Furniture and mattresses - 5117 E 31st Street, Kansas City, MO
  • Clothing, non-perishable food items and hygiene items - 500 N 7th St Trfy, Kansas City, KS

 

Partner With Avenue of Life Financially

 

  • The many programs of Avenue of Life are supported through the generous partnership of many individuals and families. Every gift, large or small, has transformative impact on the community we serve! Donations can be given online through our website or mailed to our PO Box. Thank you for partnering with us to break the cycle of poverty through community development!

 

Financial Summary
Revenue Expense Area Graph

Comparing revenue to expenses shows how the organizations finances fluctuate over time.

Source: IRS Form 990

 Breakdown
Net Gain/Loss:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.
Statements
Mission Statement
Our mission is to mobilize our community to equip and empower low-income individuals and families to be self-sustained and independent. Our vision is to be catalysts for transformation in our community by breaking the cycle of poverty through community development, collaborative partnerships, and wrap-around services. Our goal is to facilitate the journey from hand-outs (emergency relief) in crisis, to hand-ups (individual betterment) for those ready to rise above their circumstances, to hand-offs (community development) to indigenous leaders of a transformed community.
Background Statement

Avenue of Life was founded in 2013. We first acquired a facility in Kansas City, MO, renovated the site, and launched our Business Training Center. The Business Training Center provides jobs recycling mattresses to those previously incarcerated. During the renovation of our Business Training Center, we begin to do capacity-building renovation projects for non-profits and churches throughout Wyandotte County. In 2014, we purchased a facility at 7th and Sandusky, renovated the site, and launched the Equipping Center to reach the working poor and homeless families in Kansas City, Kansas. In 2015, we launched Impact KCK as the backbone organization of a collaborative with 25+ agencies working to end child homelessness in the Kansas City Kansas Public School District by 2020.

Impact Statement

Accomplishments in 2018: 

  • Reduced homelessness in the Kansas City Kansas Public School District through Impact KCK by over 50% since August 2015
  • Impact KCK has maintained a 95% retention rate for families utilizing its permanent housing solutions
  • Provided training to partnering communities to replicate the Impact KCK Collective Impact Model in Wichita, Topeka, Center School District, and Hickman Mills School District
  • Acquired house and began renovation and fundraising for an Unaccompanied Homeless Youth House in Kansas City, Kansas
 
Goals for 2019:
  • Launch an Unaccompanied Homeless Youth House in Kansas City, Kansas in partnership with USD 500 and Impact KCK
  • Expand scope of services at Impact KCK by hiring additional case management/navigator staff and bringing in new collaborative partnerships from the community
  • Continue to train outside communities to successfully replicate the Impact KCK Collective Impact Model
  • Increase capacity to provide furniture for Wyandotte families through the Business Training Center Program in KCMO
Needs Statement

Top 5 Urgent Needs 2019:

  • Financial Funding (Monthly Partners)
  • In-Kind Donations (furniture, clothing, food, hygiene items, tools, etc.)
  • Volunteers to serve the community through our programs (sort clothing, serve hot meals, landscaping, etc.)
  • Skilled Volunteers (teachers, renovations, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, etc)
  • 2 Shuttle Vans for transporting children/youth at the Unaccompanied Homeless Youth House to and from school and/or work
Service Categories
Family Services
Community & Neighbourhood Development
Temporary Housing
Areas of Service
KS - Wyandotte County
MO - Jackson County
CEO/Executive Director/Board Chair Statement

Avenue of Life has seen significant growth since its 2013 launch. Avenue of Life has an unflinching commitment to integrity, transparency, and authenticity. We believe that there is a direct correlation between our commitment to integrity and our success as an organization.

It takes a diverse board to understand and serve a diverse community, which has been key in our selection of Board members. Our governing Board of Directors is a diverse group of men and women who are fiercely committed to seeing excellence in community development for the communities we serve. We are able to ensure excellence through providing proper financial oversight, adherence to legal and ethical standards, assessment of Board and staff performance, gathering local community partners, maintaining accountability for our talented staff, commissioning an annual external audit, and supporting our adept Executive Director.

While the Board takes no credit for the amazing work the staff does daily in the community, the commitment of the Board to governance with integrity and accountability has provided a framework upon which Avenue of Life can grow with organizational health. Our partners trust our word and commitment to excellence, which directly correlated to their willingness to partner with us in acquiring, renovating, and launching multiple properties and programs in the past year.

Matt Adams, Board Chair
Programs
Description

The Equipping Center provides a comprehensive range of programs and services designed to meet the emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual needs of families throughout the urban core. Collaborative outreach space is offered to partnering agencies to provide their specialized services. The Center offers a variety of classes for topics such as GED, ESL, Nutrition, Personal Finance, Employment, Fitness, Tutoring, and Emergency relief to the community.

The Equipping Center Program focuses on a collective impact approach to emergency relief, individual betterment, and community development efforts in the urban core of KCK. The urban core of KCK holds the highest concentration of poverty in Wyandotte County, which is the county with the highest poverty rates in the 6-county Greater Kansas City Metropolitan Area. Our targeted population includes refugees, low-income families, unemployed, underemployed, and homeless. This program serves approximately 4500 unduplicated individuals per year.
Program Budget $414,688.00
Category Human Services, General/Other Family-Based Services
Population Served Families
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success

Clients utilizing our Equipping Center will experience hope through wrap-around services that are dignified and empower clients.

Long-Term Success

Our goal is to facilitate the journey from hand-outs (emergency relief) in crisis, to hand-ups (individual betterment) for those ready to rise above their circumstances, to hand-offs (community development) to indigenous leaders of a transformed community. The ultimate aim for clients utilizing the Equipping Center Program is that they would receive the community resources they need to be empowered and equipped in order to achieve self-sufficiency.

Program Success Monitored By

The outcomes of the Equipping Center are tracked internally and through a database system used within the Grater Kansas City Metropolitan Area, called MAACLink. MAACLink tracks the services provided to an individual or family across all participating agencies in order to increase efficiency and decrease duplication of services.

We are utilizing the Arizona Self-­Sufficiency Matrix, which is a reliable and widely used tool that assesses eighteen different domains. Each domain is ranked on a scale of 1 (In Crisis) to 5 (Empowered) which helps to determine the client's needs and documents their goals. Each number on the scale gives a detailed description of what the client should be achieving in order to move up each level. Each screening provides the data needed to quantitatively measure progress on achieving our measurable outcomes.

Examples of Program Success
  • 4500+ individuals reached annually
  • Provided furniture for 370+ homes
  • 11 organizations housed within the incubator space
Description

Impact KCK is a collective impact approach with a one-stop resource for the 1400+ homeless families who have been referred by the KCKPS District McKinney-Vento Program. Our focus is on the health and wellness of the child. We aim to ensure he/she attends school, advances to the next grade, graduates high school, pursues post­secondary education, and goes on to be a contributing member of society. The Impact KCK model allows for a single day's effort to be greatly multiplied through the collaboration of 35+ varied service providers providing targeted wrap­around care in a single space. Services include: Healthcare Assistance, Case Management, Nutrition, take-home nutritious meals (weekend food packs and frozen family meals), Mental Health and Counseling Services, Housing, ID/Birth Certificate, Employment, GED Assistance, Utility Assistance, Childcare, Legal Assistance, Personal Finance & Budgeting Classes, Transportation, Furniture, and Emergency Relief. 


Program Budget $1,341,500.00
Category Human Services, General/Other Family-Based Services
Population Served Families
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success

Families, especially homeless families, oftentimes struggle to navigate the complex array of social service options that are available to them in order to better their situation. Having direct access to these services and organizations can also be difficult for families. The purpose and intention of Impact KCK is to bring agencies together into one place on a regular basis so that families have access to a number of services at one time, making it easier to navigate what’s available to them so they can get the help they desperately need.

Long-Term Success

Our hope is that through providing trauma-informed systems of care, Avenue of Life can build resilience in those we serve. Resilience can be learned and is pivotal in mitigating the impact of ACEs and in producing better social and educational outcomes. In partnership with the KCK school district, we are committed to creating a trauma sensitive culture for all students and their families in Wyandotte.

Program Success Monitored By

We are utilizing the Arizona Self-Sufficiency Matrix, a reliable and widely used tool that assesses an individual's self-sufficiency across a variety of domains. Each domain is ranked on a scale of 1 (In Crisis) to 5 (Empowered) which helps to determine and document the individual's goals. Each number on the scale gives a detailed description of what the individual should be achieving in order to move up each level.

Individuals are initially screened with the Arizona Self-Sufficiency Matrix upon intake. They identify what goals they want to accomplish, with our primary focus placed on safe housing, financial stability through budgeting and working to increase income, affordable access to nutritious food, and affordable access to health and wellness resources. Individuals are screened again at the close of the first semester, and also at the close of the School Year. Each screening provides the data needed to quantitatively measure progress on achieving our measurable outcomes.
Examples of Program Success

2015-2016 School Year

  • 207 Families Reached
  • 58 Families Housed
  • 46 Families Employed

2016-2017 School Year

  • 394 Families Reached
  • 116 Families Housed
  • 87 Families Employed

2017-2018 School Year

  • 419 Families Reached
  • 129 Families Housed
  • 110 Families Employed

2018-2019 School Year (to date)

  • 241 Families Reached
  • 69 Families Housed
  • 64 Families Employed
Description

The Business Training Center Program provides economic and community development for at-risk individuals and families in the urban core of Kansas City, MO. We provide job training, career development, internships, recycling jobs, mentoring, forklift certification, neighborhood beautification, and economic development. 

There is a large need for sustainable employment among the poor and at risk families in the Greater Kansas City area. The program addresses this need by providing paid full-time employment recycling mattresses, providing furniture to families in need, and designing new products in our wood-shop such as shelves, planter boxes, and dog beds.
 
Avenue of Life provides wrap-around services to those employed or interning in our program. All of the services that are provided by our collaborative partners and the Equipping Center Program are available to program participants and their families.
 
This program serves approximately 16,000 unduplicated individuals per year, has been featured in The Kansas City Star, The Kearney Courier, Greenability, Midtown KC Post, and has received the 2015 Missouri Outstanding Achievement Award in Environmental Excellence and named the 2015 MARC Sustainable Success Story Honoree.
Program Budget $411,880.00
Category Community Development, General/Other Community Economic Development
Population Served Families
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success

Success in the short-term is the progress our employees and interns are making in acquiring the skills and resources they need to acquire and maintain long-term employment at a wage that can sustain their family.

Long-Term Success

Long-term success for the Business Training Center would look like a mobilized community that is equipping and empowering low-income individuals and families to be financially self-sustained and independent. 

Through the use of launching recycling ventures to create sustainable jobs, it is our hope that the Business Training Center will also continue to have the privilege of meaningfully assisting the city and state in meeting waste-diversion and recycling goals.
Program Success Monitored By

Program participants are mentored and coached both individually and in a team environment, leadership development, and learn key on-the-job skills to enhance their resume with meaningful work-experience. 

The outcomes of the Business Training Center are tracked internally and through our partnerships with the MARC Solid Waste District and EIERA.
Examples of Program Success

The path to success is varied for each of our participants, as they each bring a diverse range of skills and barriers when they enter the program. We have seen many program participants leverage their work experience with us to gain employment throughout the community.

The Business Training Center received the 2015 Missouri Outstanding Achievement Award in Environmental Excellence and was named a 2015 MARC Sustainable Success Story Honoree.  Through our recycling, we have diverted over 2500 tons of recyclable materials annually, created 12 Missouri jobs, and delivered furniture to 370 families as they moved from homelessness to permanent housing!
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Desiree Monize
Term Start July 2013
Experience
Desiree Monize is the Executive Director of Avenue of Life, which has the aim of breaking the cycle of poverty through community development in KCK and KCMO. For six years, Desiree served as the Executive Director of Hope Faith Ministries, where she took a small soup kitchen, serving 200 individuals a day with a support base of 150 volunteers to the largest homeless day center in Kansas City, serving over 700 individuals daily with a volunteer base of well over 5000 within 36 months.
 
Prior to working with the homeless, Desiree held the position of Equipping Pastor at Vineyard KC North, serving a congregation of 2000 through volunteer management, assimilation, leadership development and pastoral care. Desiree has over 17 years experience in the field of domestic violence, serving as a legal advocate, shelter liaison, and volunteer. She is a visionary leader with a talent for rebuilding inefficient businesses with the effective leadership, policies and procedures needed for healthy growth and expansion.
Senior Staff
Title Business Training Center Program Director
Title Business Development Director
Title Equipping Center Program Director
Title Operations Director
Title Impact KCK Director
Staff
Paid Full-Time Staff 16
Paid Part-Time Staff 3
Paid Contractors 0
Volunteers 3478
Plans & Policies
Organization Has a Fundraising Plan Yes
Organization Has a Strategic Plan Yes
Management Succession Plan Yes
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Collaborations
  • Local Government: Commissioner Brian McKiernan (KCK), DCF, DOC, Councilman Scott Wagner (KCMO), Assistant City Planner Kimiko Gilmore (KCMO), Unified Government of Wyandotte County, MARC Solid Waste Management, Wyandotte County Sheriff's Department, KCMO Police Department, Mayor Mark Holland (KCK), Kansas City Kansas Housing Authority
  • Churches: Westside Family, Colonial Presbyterian, COR, Southwoods Christian
  • Nonprofit Organizations: Harvesters, Kansas City Junior League, Village Initiative, Rachel’s Tea House, Happy Bottoms, El Centro, EOF, NBC Community Development, Episcopal Community Services, Caring for Kids Kansas City
  • Businesses: Workforce Alliance, Zephyr Products, Inc., Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate, Northstar Marketing
  • Foundations: Hall Family Foundation, Harry J Lloyd Charitable Trust, Hodgdon Family Foundation, National Christian Foundation, Oppenstein Brothers, William G. McGowan Charitable Fund, Greater Kansas City Community Foundation
  • Healthcare: Lorie Engelmann DDS, Susan Carter-O’Shea DDS, Community Healthcare Workers, Vibrant Health Wyandotte, KC Care Clinic
  • Education: KCK Public Library, KCK Public School District, McKinney-Vento Program, William Jewell College, University of Kansas, UMKC
Affiliations
AffiliationYear
Evangelical Council of Financial Accountability - Member2015
Evangelical Council of Financial Accountability - Member2016
Evangelical Council of Financial Accountability - Member2017
CEO Comments

Desiree Monize, however, is a proven leader. She is able to raise funds, awareness, and commitment. Her passion for community development is deep and contagious!

In my many years in corporate America as well as on the Leawood City Council, I’ve had the great pleasure of meeting many wonderful, smart, dedicated people. But only rarely do you encounter such a selfless, visionary leader actually able to mobilize the community to make a significant impact.

I will continue to work side-by-side with Desiree and support Avenue of Life financially and be one of many that will continue to leverage our networks to continue her vision for our metro.

-Julie Cain, Advisory Board Chair

Board Chair
Board Chair Matt Adams
Company Affiliation Westside Family Church
Term Mar 2018 to Mar 2020
Email matt@westsidefamilychurch.com
Board Members
NameAffiliation
Matt AdamsWestside Family Church
Julie CainLeawood City Council
Randy GeorgeRoswell Church of Christ
Tina HarrisGrand Avenue Temple United Methodist Church
Randall LeonardColonial Presbyterian
Desiree MonizeAvenue of Life
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 4
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 3
Female 3
Unspecified 0
Governance
Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits 2
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100%
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 12
Advisory Board Members
NameAffiliation
Christy Anderson
Julie CainLeawood City Council
Ted DavisGrace Strategic Services Inc.
Mary HyltonCommunity Volunteer
Thom KnowlesBetter Homes and Gardens Real Estate
Eric KnudsenNorth Star Marketing
Desiree MonizeAvenue of Life, CEO
Bill SchmidtCPA
Tom TurnerPaxton Hardwoods
Keith WashburnWashburn & Associates, Inc.
Debbie WestlundCommunity Volunteer
Financials
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01, 2019
Fiscal Year End Dec 31, 2019
Projected Revenue $2,543,228
Projected Expenses $2,543,228
Audit Documents
2018 Audit
2017 Audit
2016 Audit
2015 Audit
2014 Audit
2013 Audit
IRS Letter of Exemption
Foundation Comments
  • FY 2018, 2017, 2016: Financial data reported using the IRS Form 990.
  • Foundation/corporate revenue line item may include contributions from individuals.
Detailed Financials
 
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201820172016
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$1,723,297$1,262,322$1,214,180
Government Contributions$0$0$0
Federal------
State------
Local------
Unspecified------
Individual Contributions------
------
$275,792$233,420$171,945
Investment Income, Net of Losses$145$6,731$490
Membership Dues------
Special Events$0$0$0
Revenue In-Kind$645,633$514,428$419,900
Other------
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201820172016
Program Expense$1,787,195$1,338,169$1,338,412
Administration Expense$148,076$83,915$58,285
Fundraising Expense$14,822$13,744$8,556
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.031.050.99
Program Expense/Total Expenses92%93%95%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue------
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201820172016
Total Assets$722,352$509,557$454,175
Current Assets$219,694$107,436$35,307
Long-Term Liabilities$363,624$217,454$232,355
Current Liabilities$32,082$14,598$10,962
Total Net Assets$326,646$277,505$210,858
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201820172016
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities6.857.363.22
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201820172016
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets50%43%51%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201820172016
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- --United Methodist Church of the Resurrection $136,000
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- --Greater Kansas City Community Foundation $50,000
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- --Hall Family Foundation $50,000
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Other Documents
Impack KCK Informational2019View
Avenue of Life Informational2019View
Organization Name Avenue of Life
Address 500 N 7th Street Trfy
Kansas City, KS 66101
Primary Phone (816) 519-8419
Contact Email info@avenueoflife.org
CEO/Executive Director Desiree Monize
Board Chair Matt Adams
Board Chair Company Affiliation Westside Family Church
Year of Incorporation 2013