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
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 it, and launched our Business Training Center. During the renovation of our Business Training Center, we begin to do capacity-building renovation projects for non-profits 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 Wednesday 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. In 2016 we acquired two blighted homes and renovated them to place families in. At the close of 2016, we had 3,042 volunteers serving the community through healthcare, education, housing, and economic development in the urban core.

Impact Statement

Accomplishments in 2016: 

  • Reduced homelessness by 19% in the Kansas City Kansas Public School District through Impact Wednesday at the end of the 2015-2016, and by 40% by the end of the 2016-2017 School Year.
  • Hosted a Summer School outreach for children in the KCK Public School District impacting 150 children
  • Expanded Business Training Center’s Mattress Recycling Initiative (including wood shop to reuse wood from recycled mattresses, and a partnership with a boutique thrift shop).

 

Goals for 2017:
  • Expand scope and services provided at Impact Wednesday
  • Expand Impact Friday for reentry services in Wyandotte County
  • Train outside communities to successfully replicate the Impact Wednesday Collective Impact model
Needs Statement

Top 5 Urgent Needs 2017:

  • Financial Funding (Monthly Partners)
  • In-Kind Donations (furniture, clothing, food, tools, etc.)
  • Volunteers to serve the community through our programs
  • Skilled Volunteers (teachers, renovations, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, etc)
  • Residential Properties for Transitional Homes and Neighborhood Renewal Program
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

Our Transitional Internship Program provides safe, affordable housing and covers the essential expenses of the intern while he/she works towards becoming employable and self-sustaining. Barriers such as drug addiction, untreated health conditions, or lack of identification can hinder many of our clients from re-entering the workforce. We offer a bridge between poverty and independence. 

The Transitional Internship Program takes a hands-on approach to mentoring, training, and releasing individuals with barriers to employment. We provide wrap-around services to systematically alleviate and eliminate barriers to independence through targeted assistance, and is successful because it equips interns with the skills and resources they need to see success in their lives through the fruit of their own actions.
 
Services provided to interns include housing, job-training, career-development, comprehensive case-management, grocery assistance, transportation assistance, and furniture assistance. This program serves approximately 28 unduplicated individuals per year.
Category Housing, General/Other Transitional Housing
Population Served Homeless, ,
Short-Term Success

Through targeted case management, our interns immediately begin systematically removing barriers to their success, such as unfinished education, debt, traffic violations, unstable housing, addictions, medical, dental, etc. As barriers are overcome and they build their resume through job training, our interns experience hope and growth in their journey towards self-sufficiency. They begin dreaming again, as they see they are capable of success.

Long-Term Success

The ultimate goal for our transitional interns and their families is that they achieve self-sufficiency, wellness, and are equipped to pursue their dreams (education, healthcare, housing, career, family) with a new beginning.

Program Success Monitored By

Each intern has a mentor or coach who tracks short-term and long-term success. The goals of the interns are tracked and reviewed with the coach to ensure interns are consistently moving forward with purpose. We measure success when our interns are self-sustained and living independently.

Examples of Program Success

Our Transitional interns are being equipped to achieve exceptional success in removing barriers to their success and achieving their goals. 

One of our interns acquired a drivers license for the first time in his life at the age of 48, and has secured ownership of a reliable vehicle since being in our program, and is currently working on his GED. Next, he plans on taking steps towards launching a landscaping business!
 
Another of our interns has been sober since July 1, 2013 (his first day in the Transitional Internship Program) has received a full set of dentures thanks to the generosity of a partnering collaborative dental office, has a full-time job, and has acquired a home.
Description

The Neighborhood Renewal Program provides community development and combats urban decay in our surrounding communities. By beautifying a home that has fallen into disrepair, increasing the capacity of local service-providers, or building a high-yield garden in the urban core, the Neighborhood Renewal Program is able to bring immediate hope and dignity to areas we serve. The ultimate goal for the Neighborhood Renewal Program is that our communities are thriving economically and socially, safe and full of possibilities. This program serves approximately 144 unduplicated individuals per year.

Category Community Development, General/Other Neighborhood Revitalization
Population Served At-Risk Populations, ,
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success

By beautifying a home that has fallen into disrepair, increasing the capacity of local service-providers, or building a garden in the urban core, the Neighborhood Renewal Program is able to bring immediate hope and dignity to areas we serve.

Long-Term Success

The ultimate goal for the Neighborhood Renewal Program is that our communities are thriving economically and socially, safe and full of possibilities.

Program Success Monitored By

Clients of the Neighborhood Renewal Program include individuals, families, non-profits, corporations, and communities. We will measure our success through community meetings, surveys, and the overall growth of targeted communities we serve.

Examples of Program Success

Avenue of Life has been busy assisting indigenous non-profits with capacity building!

  • We have renovated 2 blighted homes and families are living in the homes today.
  • We completed a renovation of the basement in the KCK Mission House, a missional living environment for young adults, to allow for increased community development in their surrounding neighborhood. 
  • We assisted a local church who was struggling financially by renovating their site to allow them to host domestic missions trips, creating a sustainable means to cover their monthly utility bills. 
  • Avenue of Life coached a local entrepreneur and renovated his space to assist him in launching a lighting company.
  • Through this program we were able to help a new non-profit completely renovate their facility to begin a counseling center for individuals struggling with addiction in KCK. 
  • We mobilize volunteer teams to do community cleanups in five targeted zones through the Neighborhood Renewal Program.
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. Impact Wednesday is a one-­stop resource for homeless families who have been referred by the KCKPS District McKinney-Vento Program, which has 1400 homeless children.

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 $800,900.00
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. Through Impact Wednesday, we aim to end child homelessness in the Kansas City Kansas Public School District by 2020.

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

In May of 2015, the Mayor did a call-to-action for the 1400 homeless children in our district. At the close of our first school year of Impact Wednesday, 207 families were served (impacting 483 youth), 58 families were permanently housed, 46 individuals were employed, and extensive barriers to housing were removed for many more of our families. There was a 19% reduction in homeless youth in the KCK Public School system at the close of the 2015-2016 school year. School attendance for clients increased to be consistent with the district average. 

2015 - 2016 School Year
  • 207 Families Reached
  • 58 Families Housed
  • 46 Families Employed

2016 - 2017 School Year* 
  • 348 Families Reached 
  • 90 Families Housed 
  • 74 Families Employed 
*still in progress
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.
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 diverted 1,700+ tons of recyclable materials in 2016, created 12 Missouri jobs, and delivered furniture to 246 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 under Pastor Fred Herron, 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.
Co-CEO/Executive Director
Term Start 0
Compensation Last Year
Senior Staff
Title Business Training Center Program Director
Title Business Development Director
Title Equipping Center Program Director
Title Impact Wednesday Case Manager
Title Impact Wednesday Director
Title Community Outreach Coordinator
Title Case Manager
Title Case Manager
Staff
Paid Full-Time Staff 13
Paid Part-Time Staff 5
Volunteers 3042
Paid Contractors 6
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, Paseo Baptist, Southwoods Christian
  • Nonprofit Organizations: Harvesters, Metro Lutheran Ministries, Kansas City Junior League, Village Initiative, Rachel’s Tea House, Happy Bottoms, Giving the Basics, El Centro, EOF, Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, 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, William G. McGowan Charitable Fund, Greater Kansas City Community Foundation
  • Healthcare: Lorie Engelmann DDS, Susan Carter-O’Shea DDS, Community Healthcare Workers
  • 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 2016 to Mar 2018
Email matt@westsidefamilychurch.com
Board Members
NameAffiliation
Matt Adams Westside Family Church
Julie Cain Leawood City Council
Randy George Roswell Church of Christ
Tina Harris Grand Avenue Temple United Methodist Church
Randall Leonard Colonial Presbyterian
Desiree Monize Avenue of Life
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 4
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 3
Female 3
Unspecified 0
Governance
Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits 0
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 12
Advisory Board Members
NameAffiliation
Christy Anderson Northwestern Mutual
Julie Cain Leawood City Council
Ted Davis Grace Strategic Services Inc.
Mary Hylton Community Volunteer
Thom Knowles Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate
Eric Knudsen North Star Marketing
Mark Logan Logan & Jenkins LLC, Attorney At Law
Desiree Monize Avenue of Life, CEO
Bill Schmidt CPA
Tom Turner Paxton Hardwoods
Keith Washburn Washburn & Associates, Inc.
Debbie Westlund Community Volunteer
Financials
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01, 2017
Fiscal Year End Dec 31, 2017
Projected Revenue $1,648,300
Projected Expenses $1,648,300
Audit Documents
2016 Audit
2015 Audit
2014 Audit
2013 Audit
IRS Letter of Exemption
Foundation Comments
  • FY 2015, 2014: Financial data reported using the IRS Form 990.
  • FY 2013: Financial data reported using audited financial statements. 
  • Foundation/corporate revenue line item may include contributions from individuals.
Detailed Financials
 
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$857,385$524,750$106,870
Administration Expense$50,619$41,991$15,721
Fundraising Expense$7,838$6,409$5,088
Payments to Affiliates----$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.051.301.12
Program Expense/Total Expenses94%92%84%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue1%1%5%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$486,119$453,018$20,452
Current Assets$48,010$76,914$20,452
Long-Term Liabilities$249,454$264,757$0
Current Liabilities$7,169$2,976$5,161
Total Net Assets$229,496$185,285$15,291
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities6.7025.843.96
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets51%58%0%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201520142013
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- --Individual $10,500
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- --Individual $10,000
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- --indi $5,000
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
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