Mission Project, Inc.
5960 Dearborn
Suite 225
Mission KS 66202
Web and Phone Contact
Telephone (913) 777.6722
Mission Statement

The Mission Project enables capable adults with developmental disabilities to live independently and safely in the community with individualized support. It strives to enhance the quality of life for its participants through empowerment, self-sufficiency, and continuous growth in independence while providing opportunities for:

  1. Making and sustaining friendships
  2. Finding and maintaining competitive employment
  3. Learning from a variety of continuing education and cultural activities
  4. Developing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle that includes fitness and good nutrition; and participating in recreational activities.
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Sarah Mai
Board Chair Mr. Ed Soltz
Board Chair Company Affiliation
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 2004
Financial Summary
Revenue Expense Area Graph

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

Source: IRS Form 990

Net Gain/Loss:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.
Mission Statement

The Mission Project enables capable adults with developmental disabilities to live independently and safely in the community with individualized support. It strives to enhance the quality of life for its participants through empowerment, self-sufficiency, and continuous growth in independence while providing opportunities for:

  1. Making and sustaining friendships
  2. Finding and maintaining competitive employment
  3. Learning from a variety of continuing education and cultural activities
  4. Developing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle that includes fitness and good nutrition; and participating in recreational activities.
Background Statement

Introduction to the Mission Project: Three couples, parents of young adults with developmental cognitive disabilities, met in 2004 to talk about shared concerns, specifically: Was there an alternative to our adult children living at home? And what happens to them when we pass away? These were difficult questions; however, they were ever present. The young adults fell into a gap. They were too high functioning for a restrictive, institutional environment. However, living independently would certainly be too much for the individual to handle. The result of those meetings is The Mission Project, Inc. Participants live independently of one another, in an apartment complex in Mission, KS. (Mission Project participants represent about 15% of the total population of tenants at the apartment complex.) They pay rent, hold down a job and contribute. This hybrid program is unique to the metro area. Young adults can rent their own apartments, and a system of support allows them to be a part of the larger community of Mission, KS.

Mission, KS was specifically selected as our launch site. It offers a community with housing, shops, grocery stores, Sylvester Powell Community Center (for exercise classes) and other amenities all within walking distance— important because participants don't drive.

The first three MP Participants (as the young adults are called) moved into their apartments in Mission, KS in the summer of 2004. Two had Down syndrome, one had autism. The parents of the participants formed a board of directors from which they govern. This group of three has grown to a community of 28.

As our numbers have grown, we have expanded as an organization. Current members have Down syndrome and other cognitive delays such as autism or brain injury. There is currently a wait list for new members wanting this unique, hybrid program. This model has also been replicated to an apartment complex in Olathe, KS.


What members learn: Things most people take for granted, such as going to work and cooking dinner, are skills that participants must continually learn, practice, and re-learn. Skills that are taught in our weekly Problem Solvers meetings include grocery shopping, cooking, laundry, taking medicines, and keeping apartments clean.

Every participant has a job. We provide transportation through our fleet of three vans and four drivers. This element is essential for two reasons.
  1. Participants are low-income and rely on their salary for living expenses
  2. Participants have a reason to get up and moving each day with their job. 
It builds self-worth. Job-coaching services and transportation are critical—we would not exist successfully without this component. (Transportation is critical as members do not drive.) The services participants require vary greatly depending on their skills. 
Impact Statement

 2016 Accomplishments:

The successful implementation of the MPower Health Program.  A functional movement program for all participants that focuses on nutrition, strength and well-being. Individualized for each person, the goal is to focus on well-being allowing for longer independent living.  
More than 95% of participants are employed.  This contributes to their overall well-being and life satisfaction as they earn money that contributes to their rent and groceries.
More than 8,000 rides provided to and from work on Mission Project vans.
We've moved into a new space that will better serve participants needs .  We are in a suite, upstairs from our old office.  
2017 Goals:
  • To continue the strong momentum begun with the MPower Health Program and reinforce a lifestyle of healthy eating and fitness with all Mission Project participants.  
  • Continue to maximize participant socialization and communication thought Problem Solvers classes and other learning opportunities.
  • 95% of participants will continue to work-utilizing The Mission Project van transportation system. 
  • Successfully fund our area of greatest financial need--transportation--through a mix of special events, grant applications, and major gifts.
Needs Statement
Pressing needs include :
Local employers that would be interested in discussing job opportunities for participants. 
In-kind donors of food, wine and other beverages for our special events. 
Service Categories
Centers to Support the Independence of Specific Populations
Down Syndrome
Digestive Diseases & Disorders
Areas of Service
MO - Jackson County
MO - Clay County
MO - Platte County
KS - Wyandotte County
KS - Johnson County
KS - Leavenworth County
CEO/Executive Director/Board Chair Statement

Description When candidates become participants, they and their families work with their case manager and the provider to determine services needed. The provider helps participants learn the living skills they need, such as shopping and cooking. Also, MP members staff a 24-hour hotline and employ a specialist to help participants work out relationship and governance issues.
Category Human Services, General/Other In-Home Assistance
Population Served People/Families with People of Developmental Disabilities, ,
Short-Term Success Participants show measurable growth in self-care, home living activities,money management, community living activities,employment, personal organization, social activities, and health and safety activities.
Long-Term Success Mission Project Participants (adults with disabilities) will have skills needed to live in their own apartments, training that helps them grow in independence skills and advocacy skills that allow them to be active and accepted members in their community.
Program Success Monitored By We have developed an instrument (the Mission Project Supports Scale) that rates the frequency that support is needed by MP individuals to participate in activities listed above, the amount of time support is actually provided, and the intensity of support (from full physical assistance at the high end to none at the low end).
Examples of Program Success The employment rate of Mission Project participants is 40% higher than the national average of their peers.  This is a credit to the combined resources of transportation, life-skills meetings, and good job placement provided by The Mission Project.  Job retention for our members is critical.  They are proud to be living and working in the community, paying taxes and contributing.  Additionally, like all of us, they rely on their paycheck for basic living needs.  
Description The Mission Project strives to have each participant employed to his or her highest ability. Licensed service providers develop jobs geared to each participant's abilities and interests. They place participants and coach them on the job as needed.They work with participants' supervisors to ensure effective two-way communication and help participants use feedback from their evaluations to improve their performance.
Category Employment, General/Other Job Search & Placement
Population Served People/Families with People of Developmental Disabilities, ,
Short-Term Success All Mission Project participants would be gainfully employed or in educational or vocational programs that could lead to meaningful employment.
Long-Term Success All Mission Project participants would be employed in positions that provide a competitive wage, fulfillment and opportunities for growth in a career.
Program Success Monitored By Success is monitored by determining the percentage of Mission Project participants who are gainfully employed or participating in educational programs leading to careers. Progress will also be monitored on a quarterly based by rating the degree of support MP participants require on the job using the the Employment Activities sub-scale on the Mission Project Supports Scale. This scale measures frequency and supports needed on skills such as: getting to work on time, communication with boss, interacting socially with co-workers, completing work correctly, completing work on time, seeking help appropriately from co-workers, accepting feedback about job performance graciously.
Examples of Program Success Currently 100% of MP participants are engaged in some type of part-time employment,volunteer work or educational program.

The MPower Health Program works with adults with Down syndrome, autism and cognitive delays to integrate a personalized approach to healthy lifestyle habits including exercise, diet, and day-to-day health challenges. Each participant has unique issues related to health and aging. For example, members with Down syndrome tend to carry more weight and have difficulty exercising due to physical limitations. They can also have issues related to low-vision, thyroid, or other complications. Those with autism can have challenges related to balance, motor skills and coordination. We promote healthy living by teaching (and re-teaching) core concepts weekly. As our clients age, they face challenges related to mobility and daily living. This will be more difficult if they grow older with extra weight and less muscle. Through grant funding we provide:  

  1. A part-time fitness coach providing guidance on individualized profiles. 
  2. Weekly small-group fitness classes.
  3. Technology such as step trackers and apps to reinforce healthy habits.
  4. 'Functional Fitness' skills integrated into day-to-day life.
Program Budget $30,000.00
Category Recreation & Sports, General/Other Physical Fitness
Population Served People/Families with People of Developmental Disabilities, ,
Short-Term Success

Lower baseline heart rates, increase lean muscle mass, decreased body fat, weight loss. Utilizing the baseline information, we implement the "just right challenge"-- having a clear baseline and then challenging the individual to make forward progress but not too much that they get discouraged or don't sustain the work it takes to meet the long term goal. 

Long-Term Success All Mission Project Participants will be physically active and fit and engage in a lifestyle that promotes health and well-being. All Mission Project participants will engage in recreational activities that help build their own sense of community as well as their active involvement with family and friends in the broader community.
Program Success Monitored By

Tim Crough, CSCS, has a degree in Exercise Science from Kansas University. His coaching experiences range from working with athletes at the highest level of the Colorado Rockies organization to working with athletes at the highest levels of the special-needs community. Tim oversees personal training, documenting baseline data, and incorporating forward progress through the “just right challenge”.

Examples of Program Success Tim Crough Fitness and Mission Project Administration monitor participants progress. One case study is Leigh Anna.  Besides needing new clothes to fit her newly fit body, LeighAnna has made remarkable strides from participating in our MPower Health program. You can see it in her eyes and in her smile – LeighAnna has been bitten by the fitness bug.   Before MPower Health, it took some coaxing to get LeighAnna to move. Now she zips through her workouts and has a wide range of exercises she enjoys. Besides attending weekly classes and sessions with the trainers at Move Right KC, formerly Tim Crough Fitness, she jogs up and down stairs, practices boxing combinations and dances to her Wii. In addition, she’s eating better and takes a newfound pride in her appearance. Like other participants, LeighAnna has made improvements not only in strength, conditioning, coordination and balance – which are vital to her health – but also in attitude.
Description Five transportation vans provided 8,927 rides to-and-from work, for individuals with Down syndrome, autism and other cognitive delays last year. Our staff of 5 drivers (1 full-time, 4 part-time) provided on average 744 rides per month. Our rate of on-time passenger delivery (getting individuals to work on time) is 99.6%. We met our goal of picking up passengers within 30 minutes of their shift ending 99% of the time. Drivers assisted passengers to 23 different work locations over the course of the year. 
Program Budget $31,250.00
Category Human Services, General/Other Transportation Assistance
Population Served People/Families with People of Developmental Disabilities, ,
Short-Term Success Success of the transportation program is getting MP participants to and from their jobs reliably and on time. The Mission Project transportation vans will be available and running for 247 of the 254 work days, that participants will be delivered to their places of work between 5 and 30 minutes before starting time 99% of the time, and that participants are picked up from work no more than 30 minutes after quitting time 95% of the time.
Long-Term Success Mission Project participants remain competitively employed for 10 years +.
Program Success Monitored By Information on reliability and timeliness is gathered from the driver's daily log, from monthly interviews with the MP participants, and quarterly interviews with the employers.
Examples of Program Success
  1. The MP van was available for use 100% of workdays.
  2. MP participants were delivered to their workplaces on-time 99.2% of the time. 
  3. MP participants were picked up within 30 minutes of stop time on 98.7% of occasions.
Description To broaden participants' cultural awareness, volunteers coordinate regular attendance at cultural activities, such as concerts and plays. A partnership with the Barn Players enables participants to use the theater for acting classes in exchange for their ushering during Barn Player performances. Participants also take classes through Johnson County Community College and have chances to travel through the MP Travel Club. They also maintain two book clubs.
Program Budget $140,000.00
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other
Population Served People/Families with People of Developmental Disabilities, ,
Short-Term Success MP participants will attend and participate in a greater number of cultural and artistic events per month. A greater proportion of MP participants will attend cultural and artistic events per month.
Long-Term Success MP participants will attend and participate in a full range of cultural and artistic events and programs in the community.
Program Success Monitored By We count the number of scheduled events per month and the number of MP participants who attend.
Examples of Program Success The number of scheduled cultural and artistic events and programs has increased over the past year.
CEO Comments

It is important that supporters of The Mission Project know that we are taking our programming to another level,  and that you can expect greater outcomes. Participants are learning to utilize their iPads to improve time management, social skills, and leisure skills. We are focusing intently on health this year and increasing the number and quality of programs that address healthy eating and physical fitness. We are encouraging leadership and enabling participants to step up as technology specialists, event planners, and public speakers. We are also focusing on self-advocacy in the context of safety and making sure each individual has a definitive way to get their needs met in a moment of crisis regardless of their social and communication challenges.

I believe that The Mission Project is a brilliant model for providing for the needs of adults with developmental disabilities who can live independently with  support. There has been rich development this last ten years and there will be exciting outcomes these coming ten years.

For more than seven years, I have been involved with TMP on the programming side, specifically teaching the Problem Solvers group, facilitating the iPad Project, and providing individualized consultation regarding behavioral and social needs. During the course of those 7 years, I have developed a keen understanding of the unique needs of each participant and I have developed visions for how I could facilitate progress that would improve their quality of life.  We are realizing hard work turning the visions into real outcomes.

I am honored to be the first Executive Director of The Mission Project and to have the opportunity to lead an organization made up of parents and participants that I have come to love like family.

Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Ms. Sarah Mai
Term Start Feb 2014
Experience includes the following:
  • Executive Director:  The Mission Project. Feb 2014- present
  • Occupational Therapist: Park Hill School District. Jan 2004- 2014
  • Assistive Technology Consultant:  Park Hill School District. Aug 2009- June 2014
  • Professional Development Speaker: Park Hill School District, The Mission Project, self-employment. Jan 2005 - present
  • Program Coordinator and Social Skills Trainer:  The Mission Project. 2006- Present
  • Co-Founder and Assistant Director:  Soulfari Kenya, Inc.  2003-2010
Sarah Mai has a passion for teaching and empowering people who have developmental disabilities. Before becoming executive director, Sarah served The Mission Project for more than seven years as a programming consultant. She facilitates Problem Solvers, a group that teaches participants vital social and life skills. Her expertise in assistive technology led to the iPad Project, which teaches participants how to manage their lives through technology. 
Co-CEO/Executive Director
Term Start
Compensation Last Year
Paid Full-Time Staff 3
Paid Part-Time Staff 3
Volunteers 35
Paid Contractors 0
Retention Rate 100%
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Plans & Policies
Organization Has a Fundraising Plan Yes
Organization Has a Strategic Plan Yes
Management Succession Plan No
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy No
Whistleblower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Rockhurst University, KansasFocus, Sylvester Powell Community Center, Johnson County Community College, Special Olympics, Kiwanis of Kansas City KS and Barn Players of Johnson County
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the government? No
Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. Ed Soltz
Term Nov 2015 to Oct 2018
Board Members
Mr. Alvan Berry Parent
Mr. Scott Conner Parent
Ms. Barb Davis Community Volunteer
Mr. George Dirnberger Parent
Mr. David Janus First National Bank
Mr. Gordon Kempf Community Volunteer
Mr. Charlie Lamont Community Volunteer
Ms. Randa Niederhauser Parent
Mr. John Pittman Parent
Mr. Bill Porter Parent
Mr. Bob Randall Parent
Ms. Linda Roser Relative of Participant
Mr. Larry Rouse Parent
Mr. Ed Soltz Parent
Mrs. Catherine Vesce Parent
Mrs. Kay Webb Parent
Mr. Fred Zang Parent
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 17
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 12
Female 5
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits 3
Board Meeting Attendance % 90%
Written Board Selection Criteria? No
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 6
Standing Committees
Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
Program / Program Planning
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
CEO Comments The Standing Committees identified above each have a Committee Chair. The Board Chair plus the Chairs of the Committees form the Executive Committee. All management and governance decisions are made by this board of directors who work with a steering committee comprised of parents and family members of Mission Project participants who are individuals with disabilities.
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01, 2017
Fiscal Year End Dec 31, 2017
Projected Revenue $366,000
Projected Expenses $366,000
IRS Letter of Exemption
Foundation Comments
  • FY 2015, 2014, 2013: Financial data reported using IRS Form 990.
  • Foundation/corporation revenue line item may include contributions from individuals.  
Detailed Financials
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$156,056$137,065$125,853
Administration Expense$76,935$49,715$17,730
Fundraising Expense$38,686$48,406$38,141
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.621.111.26
Program Expense/Total Expenses57%58%69%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue27%20%18%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$296,888$366,723$340,665
Current Assets$246,098$339,825$294,235
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$34,120$0$0
Total Net Assets$262,768$366,723$340,665
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities7.21----
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201520142013
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountWilliam G. McGowen Charitable Fund $24,120 -- --
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountWidex USA $12,500 -- --
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountIndividual Donor $10,000 -- --
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years No
Organization Name Mission Project, Inc.
Address 5960 Dearborn
Suite 225
Mission, KS 66202
Primary Phone (913) 777.6722
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Sarah Mai
Board Chair Mr. Ed Soltz
Year of Incorporation 2004