Artists Helping the Homeless, Inc.
3625 Warwick Blvd
Kansas City MO 64111
Mission Statement

Believing helping the homeless helps our community, we seek to reduce the need and cost of homeless care in Kansas City by:

  • Providing aid with respect
  • Providing advocacy for those seeking to leave the street
  • Raising awareness of homeless issues in Kansas City
  • Working with, rather than duplicating existing services
  • Addressing underlying causes

 

We facilitate the path off the street by helping the homeless identify and access resources to meet immediate needs and address underlying issues. The program is unique in several ways:

 

  • Client Oriented: The BE THE CHANGE Program works with clients where they are, literally and figuratively, and uses the individual, rather than institutions as its starting point.
  • Continuum of Care: Accompanying clients throughout their path off the street improves coordination and consistency of service. Follow-up meetings provide encouragement, support, and allow plans to be adjusted as clients progress.
  • True Collaboration: Focused on improving the collective impact of the local safety net, the program addresses individual and systemic challenges, thus improving outcomes and efficiency for other agencies.
  • Not Facility Based: Instead of making clients come to us, we meet them where they are: on the streets, in hospitals, care facilities, police stations, homeless and recovery services, shelters and transitional living houses --- frequently in facilities of other agencies.
  • Effective with Chronic Homeless: The intensive street outreach that stays in touch with this mobile and hard to reach clientele and follow-up meetings that provide ongoing support and engagement has proven effective with the chronic homeless and at risk young adult homeless.
  • Return on Investment: By providing access to more appropriate resources and, ultimately helping clients off the street, the program has saved hospitals, ambulance, police and judicial services over $10,000,000 or over $5 for each $1 invested in the program.

 


Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Kar Y Woo
Board Chair Dean Katerndahl
Board Chair Company Affiliation Mid America Regional Council (retired)
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 2008
Financial Summary
 
 
Projected Revenue $447,000
Projected Expenses $437,000
Statements
Mission Statement

Believing helping the homeless helps our community, we seek to reduce the need and cost of homeless care in Kansas City by:

  • Providing aid with respect
  • Providing advocacy for those seeking to leave the street
  • Raising awareness of homeless issues in Kansas City
  • Working with, rather than duplicating existing services
  • Addressing underlying causes

 

We facilitate the path off the street by helping the homeless identify and access resources to meet immediate needs and address underlying issues. The program is unique in several ways:

 

  • Client Oriented: The BE THE CHANGE Program works with clients where they are, literally and figuratively, and uses the individual, rather than institutions as its starting point.
  • Continuum of Care: Accompanying clients throughout their path off the street improves coordination and consistency of service. Follow-up meetings provide encouragement, support, and allow plans to be adjusted as clients progress.
  • True Collaboration: Focused on improving the collective impact of the local safety net, the program addresses individual and systemic challenges, thus improving outcomes and efficiency for other agencies.
  • Not Facility Based: Instead of making clients come to us, we meet them where they are: on the streets, in hospitals, care facilities, police stations, homeless and recovery services, shelters and transitional living houses --- frequently in facilities of other agencies.
  • Effective with Chronic Homeless: The intensive street outreach that stays in touch with this mobile and hard to reach clientele and follow-up meetings that provide ongoing support and engagement has proven effective with the chronic homeless and at risk young adult homeless.
  • Return on Investment: By providing access to more appropriate resources and, ultimately helping clients off the street, the program has saved hospitals, ambulance, police and judicial services over $10,000,000 or over $5 for each $1 invested in the program.

 


Background Statement

Unique among the numerous organizations in Kansas City that serve the homeless, Artists Helping the Homeless (AHH) is more than its name may suggest. This innovative program is a safety net for Kansas City’s safety net, working with a myriad of local agencies to address the challenges of the homeless and the agencies that serve them.

 
Artists Helping the Homeless was founded with 501(c)3 status in February 2008 to use art to fund a Sunday night homeless meal program and to raise awareness of the challenges of the homeless. 

 
During the meals, founder Kar Woo heard the stories and challenges of the homeless and realized he could help identify and access appropriate services. Soon his nearby store became a homeless drop-in center.

 
Across the street, Saint Luke’s Plaza Hospital’s ED experienced a sharp increase in the number and cost of homeless cases. When they called a meeting of community emergency and homeless services to address the problem, their homeless patients suggested they invite Woo.  At that meeting, the KCMO Police Department set the cost of a typical homeless call at $5,390.  With the nearest shelter 4 miles away, the lack of transportation was a primary factors in the sudden increase in ED cases.  Providing transportation to avoid one call a day could save over $1,000,000 annually.  

 

In January 2010 with a grant from the Saint Luke's Foundation, Woo closed the business created nearly 30 years earlier to develop the BE THE CHANGE Program to fill a gap in the local safety net by providing transportation.  

 
As the staff learned their riders’ stories and challenges, other gaps in the homeless services safety net were identified and addressed.  A longitudinal, client centered approach emerged.   And true collaborations developed as the staff learned the capabilities, requirements and challenges of other agencies. 

 
The innovative, collaborative program draws upon existing services to meet a client’s specific needs. While assisting all segments of the local homeless population, the program is uniquely effective for chronic homeless and at risk young adults.  Today, the program operates over 100 hours a week, working with hospitals, shelters, local homeless and recovery services, police departments, jails, courts, corporations and community facilities across the metro that share the goal of reducing the need and cost for care for the homeless.  Together, we are "Helping the Homeless, Helping the Community"
Impact Statement

In 2015, the BE THE CHANGE Program helped over 1,840 people from all segments of Kansas City's homeless population identify and access a wide range of services, individually tailored to address issues that led to or resulted from being homeless. Its longitudinal, client-oriented approach proved effective with more challenging chronic homeless cases, causing it to be dubbed “The Safety Net for the Safety Net.”

 

Working with homeless clients and the agencies that serve them, the program creates innovative, collaborative solutions to individual and systemic challenges. Three 2015 initiatives helped over 200 homeless off the street.
 
  • Save Our Seniors secured nursing home placement for 130 area homeless, often chronic homeless individuals with disabilities or chronic illnesses that relied heavily on local hospitals and emergency services. With better nutrition, hygiene and health care, their reliance is substantially reduced.
  • Respite Care Housing (Bodhi House) eliminated the need to return to the street while waiting to be admitted to treatment programs and housing. Case workers from collaborating agencies provided wrap around services. Residents participate in community service, physical fitness, coping skills, social reintegration and AA/NA/SMART activities. Over 80% of Bodhi residents progressed to treatment or housing.
  • Judicial/Jail Diversion: The program’s success with clients in drug and mental health courts prompted prosecutors and judges to explore applying the longitudinal approach to homeless judicial cases. Pilot programs in Cass and Jackson Counties are being expanded. The program also partners with the Kansas Rainbow Center and the new KCMO Community Crisis Center.
 
The program’s care coordination, street outreach and continuum support improves outcomes and efficiency for area homeless, collaborating agencies and local hospitals, judicial and emergency services.

 

Needs Statement

The BE THE CHANGE Program continues to develop and building a solid foundation while addressing community challenges.  

  • Capital Campaign: The top priority is to refurbish and retire the debt on the recently acquired Finnegan Place. Projects include replacing the roof, adding a laundry room, meeting rooms and storage facilities. The drive goal is $500,000.
  • Hand-Up Funds: When homeless clients can’t afford boots or tools needed for a job, help with rent to keep their housing, school supplies and other seemingly simple things in order to take the next step; a hand-up can be provided through small gifts set earmarked to the AHH Hand Up Fund..
  • Handicap Accessible Shuttle: The addition of a handicap accessible shuttle bus improves program capability and efficiency. Currently, the program is unable to accommodate motorized wheelchairs and must make multiple trips to take Bodhi House and Finnegan Place residents to off-site programs. The cost of an appropriately equipped bus is $80,000.
  • Board Members: The Board is seeking to add 2-3 members interested in fostering innovation, collaboration and oversight. Specific areas of need are property management, management/accounting, and fund raising/public relations.
Service Categories
Homeless Services/Centers
Hot Lines & Crisis Intervention
Personal Social Services
Areas of Service
MO - Jackson County Urban Core
MO - Jackson County
MO - Clay County
MO - Platte County
KS - Wyandotte County
KS - Johnson County
MO - Cass County
CEO/Executive Director/Board Chair Statement

Despite knowing Kar Woo many years, it was a surprise when he said he was considering closing the store he created and operated for over 25 years to develop a program to reduce the need and cost of care for the homeless in Kansas City.  "I think I can save our community $1,000,000 the first year," he explained.

A couple years earlier, he asked me to be on the Board of a charity he was founding to fund a Sunday night meal in the park by his store.  So I was aware of his passion to serve this population and his success helping others.  I was also aware his artistic background, business experience, Psychology/Counseling studies, and experience being alone in a foreign land were experiences he would draw upon. Still, save $1,000,000?
 
Woo took on the challenge, creating a hospital diversion program that filled a gap in the local homeless safety net, transportation.  But as he learned the stories, aims and challenges of his riders, he identified and filled other gaps and the program grew.  As a foreign student, Woo asked a lot of questions to understand things.  He took that same approach with this new project, drawing upon the homeless and agencies that were providing services.  As he learned their requirements, capabilities and challenges, the program --- its clients' successes and the community benefits --- grew.
 
...as did his commitment to solving both his clients' and his community's challenges.  He gained accreditation as a Missouri Recovery Support Specialist in his "spare time."  Woo is on the street 7 nights a week after dispatching the day vans, attending meetings and following up with clients during the day.  By creating mutually beneficial collaborations, the program has become an indispensable resource for the homeless and the organizations that serve them. The program is frequently called upon to work with the most challenging clients, often those struggling with drug abuse or mental health issues and to apply its approach to new populations and issues.
 
To meet these challenges, Woo and his crew involve local safety net agencies.  These agencies allow AHH staff into their facilities and provide in-kind support, including training.  
  
While recognizing Kansas City has a network of strong, dedicated homeless agencies, Councilperson Jan Marcason noted, "...more and more people are falling through the cracks."  Charley German, Chair of the Homelessness Task Force concluded the effort "needs to be more targeted, it needs to be more focused."  By addressing the collective impact of the entire safety net, by focusing on not only providing  specific services, but ultimately getting people off the street, the program improves the outcomes, efficiency and thus the capacity of the local safety net.
 
Each Board meeting brings new stories of clients' successes, often in their words of thanks; new initiatives and collaborations that reduce the need and cost of care for the homeless and the creativity, passion and dedication of Woo and his crew.  Its no surprise the program has more than doubled the original goal of $1,000,000 savings annually.  For the Board, such a dynamic program brings both challenges (primarily funding) and rewards (making a difference in the lives of people and our community).
Programs
Description

Our core program reduces the need and cost of care for the homeless by helping clients identify and access appropriate resources and facilitating their path off the street. Using the individual, rather than institutions as its starting point, the program draws on evidence-based practices and tailors services to the client, accompanying them throughout their path off the street.

 

The program improves the collective impact of Kansas City’s homeless services safety net by filling gaps with a wide range of services including transportation, advocacy, housing and care coordination. An intensive outreach meets clients where they are, literally and figuratively.  A client-oriented approach tailors services to meet immediate needs and address underlying issues.  Coordinating these services reduces fragmentation and duplication and allows multiple issues to be addressed concurrently. Working with clients throughout their path off the street improves focus, consistency and engagement.
Program Budget $250,000.00
Category Human Services, General/Other Emergency Assistance
Population Served Homeless, ,
Short-Term Success

Individual stories document short term successes. Keeping the 18 year old boy off the street and easing the way home for the stranded 91 year old woman are short term successes. Reuniting the young couple that was attacked when their “great adventure” brought them to Kansas City with their family was a short term success.  The thank you letter from the chronic homeless person who completed detox, treatment and now in transitional living.  Nursing home placement of the chronic homeless person dealing with chronic illness.  Short term success is measured one person at a time.

Each ride that allows women in domestic violence and family shelters to legal, medical and housing appointments, the Sunday meals that keep staff in touch with area homeless, finding a safe place for a homeless person being released from a hospital or jail.  A young man alienated from family and agencies that could help him getting his GED.  Small but important steps are short term successes.

Long-Term Success

Long term success is reduced need and cost of care for the homeless. Lacking resources and transportation, homeless people defer medical and other matters until they become a crisis. Often they turn to local emergency services that, while nearby, may not be the most appropriate or least expensive. In addition, homeless people with substance disorders and mental illness frequently cycle between the streets, jails and emergency rooms. The Kansas City, Missouri Police Department reports a typical homeless call costs community emergency and judicial services $5,390.  Eliminating 1 call a day equates to a $1.7 mln savings.

That goal is accomplished by addressing individual and systemic issues to improve outcomes and efficiency of our clients and the agencies that serve them.  That's done by filling gaps to facilitate access to and adherence with programs, to eliminate the need to return to the street and to coordinate care throughout the path off the street.  

Program Success Monitored By

Each day, staff members log client activity. The primary purpose is to document and communicate client activity and issues and to schedule follow-up meetings or services. The logs are combined and summarized each month providing output statistics such as number of unduplicated clients, rides, assessment and follow-up meetings, detox or treatment enrollments, transitional and long term housing arranged and direct support provided. This data is broken down further by client, source/destination and type of support provided. The status of individuals (retention rates) is compiled periodically. Individual case histories are the ultimate measure. The program estimates the resulting cost savings by multiplying the number of people that got off the street by $5,390. This estimate is considered conservative because it is based on 2009 costs and does not factor the ongoing savings of getting a people that are subjects of homeless calls on a weekly basis or more often off the street.

Examples of Program Success
The program has saved community emergency services over $12,500,000 in its short 6 year life.  That estimate is conservative.  One hospital executive told staff the program save them $1.7 mln in 2014 and attributed an 80% reduction in non-emergent homeless ED case to it.
 
Individual successes are reason for the savings.  In 2015, two program initiatives, Bodhi House and Save Our Seniors, helped over 200 people, many of whom were chronically homeless, get off the street.   During year, the BE THE CHANGE program assisted to 1,841 people by providing over 4,000 rides, having over 3,500 assessment and follow-up meetings, arranging housing, assisting with ID's, meds or other items required for gaining or retaining housing or programs and "being there".
 
This also helps collaborating hospitals and agencies.  The program has become many agencies discharge planner for both its clients and the agency's more challenge homeless cases.
Description

This 11 bed midtown facility was added to the BE THE CHANGE Program Tool Box in 2015 to provide respite housing and basic needs for chronic homeless men wanting to get off the street.

 

Away from the chaos of the street, residents work with case workers provided by referring agencies. House staff support the case managers with a holistic approach that includes group exercise program at local gyms, AA/NA and SMART meetings, community service and coping skills training. Compliance with court and treatment plans is monitored and rides to medical, legal and other appointments provided/  A pilot program utilizing Salvation Army MOSOS to provided respite housing for this population to bridge time needed for entry into treatment and housing programs or fill gaps between steps in recovery (wait times for treatment can run 2-8 weeks). The goal was to avoid relapse and maintains contact with this highly mobile clientele to improve efficiency. When MOSOS closed, Bodhi House was opened.
Program Budget $325,000.00
Category Housing, General/Other Homeless Shelter
Population Served Homeless, Unemployed, Underemployed, Dislocated, Alcohol, Drug, Substance Abusers
Short-Term Success

Short term success is a resident moving on to a recovery or housing program.  Preventing a return to the street reduces residents’ reliance on local emergency services (cost savings), improves efficiency for case workers, and improves engagement and outcomes of residents. It allows residence to bridge gaps, follow treatment plans, stay sober and clean while taking steps to identify, qualify and enter other programs or facilities.

 

Residents are men that have been on the street years, if not decades, and who deal with multiple issues leading to and caused by life on the street. Frequently, the path off the street is lengthy and involves multiple agencies. Developing, following and adapting plans to address these issues are short term successes. Relapse is often part of the recovery process for the target population. Consequently, short term success is also minimizing relapse episodes to limit the impact and recovery.

Long-Term Success

The objective of Bodhi House is to assist chronic homeless men in getting off the street and, thus, reducing their reliance on community emergency services. Long term success is for clients to realize and retain housing. For many, Bodhi House is a threshold to getting their life back on track. For others, it is a critical factor in staying on plan.

 

In a local hospital, the young man agreed to try Bodhi House for a week when discharged. At Bodhi, he worked with the staff and case manager, participated in activities and surprised everyone when he reported he’d “been sober for two months for the first time in years.” He subsequently moved into a transitional living facility, enrolled in college and remains in contact the program. Recently, he wrote “You’ve given me a chance to get my life back on track…you’ve given me time because without you my time may have very well run out on this earth.”

 

Organizationally, the goal is for Bodhi House to be self-sustaining.
Program Success Monitored By

Bodhi House is part of the BE THE CHANGE Program Tool Box. Like that program, daily logs record client progress. These logs are summarized by service and client. In addition, input is routinely received from case workers and other agencies working with residents as well as the residents. The individual resident’s progress is the primary measure of success.  

Because Bodhi House is part of the wider BE THE CHANGE Program, the program usually continues to assist the client as he progresses toward reintegration.
 
Examples of Program Success

Bodhi House opened in February 2015.  During 2015, 98 men resided there on 123 occasions.  The average stay was 3 weeks.  Over 80% of the stays resulted in the men moving on to a recovery or housing program, a high success rate for this population that primarily consists of chronic homeless and alienated young adults, potentially Kansas City's next generation chronic homeless.  

The 24/7 monitored facility provided the BE THE CHANGE Program a place for clients awaiting admission to their next step in recovery.   
 
Bodhi House helped collaborating agencies.  Case workers realized improved efficiency.  They no longer had to 'chase' clients who were on the street and could count on clients being clean and sober for appointments.  The court system could count on residents attending scheduled hearings and meetings.  Medical providers could count of residents adhering to treatment plans. 
Financially, program revenues covered 80% of facility costs the first year. 
 
Description

Clean, sober and ready to be on their own, the homeless find limited housing choices due to lack of funds for deposits, a history with evictions, repossessions and legal issues or inability to pay rent during a lay-off or reduced hours. That often mean neighbors who use alcohol or drugs.  Having no or only a small circle of supportive friends adds to the challenge for long-term sobriety, increased financial well being and stability.

 

Finnegan Place, a 18 unit apartment building in midtown, provides a monitored clean and sober environment with peer support. The BE THE CHANGE Program provides support and rides to work, school, appointments and AA meetings  as well as coping skills classes, community service, physical fitness and social programs. Case workers from collaborating agencies can efficiently provide wrap around services to multiple clients.

 

Finnegan Place can house 40 residents in 6 two-bedroom and 12 one-bedroom newly renovated all-electric apartments.
Category Housing, General/Other Transitional Housing
Population Served Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent, ,
Short-Term Success The facility currently houses 21 individuals.
Long-Term Success Finnegan Place opened September 2016 following a successful 5 month pilot program.
Program Success Monitored By Success is measured by individual resident progress, including staying clean and sober.  Residents are participants of the BE THE CHANGE Program.  Ultimately, residents will gain personal and financial stability that allows them to move on into housing that is conducive to their recovery.
Examples of Program Success One of the initial pilot residents has resided at Finnegan for six months while remaining clean and sober.  He is employed and, with the help of a payee to assist him with his finances, is building his credit history, including staying current on rent.
Description
The two meal programs are an integral part of the BE THE CHANGE Program's intensive street outreach.  The Sunday in the park (outdoor) dinner in midtown KCMO and Thursday sit down meal at the Center of Grace in Olathe are a chance to meet or catch up with area homeless.  
 
 
These meals provide an opportunity to build trust and rapport with area homeless and for the homeless to express concerns for others who may be in need, or to request assistance including help entering detox or treatment programs.
 
 
The Sunday meal serves 60-120 servings, rain or shine.  In Olathe, 250-300 servings are provided.  Meals are prepared and served by volunteers usually from local churches and synagogues.   
Category Human Services, General/Other Human Services, General/Other
Population Served Homeless, ,
Short-Term Success
The meals provide nourishment for those in need ranging from young children to senior citizens.  But they are more than just a meal.  BE THE CHANGE staff visit with people they recognize and meet new faces.  The objective is when the person is ready to make a change, for them to call the program for help. 
  
 
Shoes, coats, sleeping bags, gloves, socks, underwear and other essentials have been distributed at meals.
Long-Term Success
These BE THE CHANGE Program resulted from and applies the principles learned in the Sunday Meal Program.  The meals, especially the Sunday meal, demonstrate the BtC staff are available.  One client told researchers that conducted a six-month study of the program, "The difference is they are out here with us."  A hospital social worker said something similar, "I was excited to have someone who would be able to do more within the community."  The meal programs extend the reach of not only the BtC Program, but case workers at collaborating agencies.
 
 
These programs have led to hundreds of people getting the help they need and get off the street.  These conversations have also led to systemic needs being identified, addressed with collaborating agencies and the introduction of additional services.
Program Success Monitored By While the primary measurement is number of servings, the true benefit is meeting and staying in contact with the local homeless population.  The latter is measured by overall program results.
Examples of Program Success
It was a warm spring afternoon. As the serving tables were being set up, a man walked up to Kar Woo and said he'd heard that Woo could help him. He wanted to go to detox. Woo did a brief intake, made a couple calls and introduced the man to another BtC staff member who drove him to a detox facility that was waiting for him. Within a half an hour, the man had taken a big first step. That story has been repeated in varying forms regularly throughout the years.
CEO Comments
Kansas City is blessed with many strong, dedicated individuals and agencies addressing the needs of area homeless.  But capacity is limited and people are falling through the gaps.  The need and cost of care for the homeless is significant.  A typical homeless call cost $5,390 according to the KCMO Police.
 
Rather than reinventing the wheel, AHH tries to make it roll better.  That means uniting a network of sometimes competing agencies toward a common goal.  Rather than focusing on services provided, AHH took a client by client approach, setting individual goals of getting people off the street.  
 
Achieving that goal requires the collaboration of many other agencies doing what they do well  It also requires gaining the trust of area homeless. It requires all parties to communicate individual and systemic challenges and to collaborate on solutions.  That's been accomplished by demonstrating how it improves outcomes and efficiency for all.
 
Despite helping hundreds off the street and saving emergency services millions, we have only scratched the surface.  New gaps are identified, including those resulting from changes in governmental policies.  New applications, like the jail/court diversion pilot program, arise.   We have not reinvented the wheel, just made it roll a little better. 
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Kar Y Woo
Term Start Feb 2008
Experience
Kar. Woo obtained a Bachelors in Psychology with work toward a Masters in Counseling at the KU before starting a business when his family immigrated to the US.  For nearly 30 years, he operated a retail gift, fine art and furniture business with residential and commercial projects throughout the midwest. In 2010, Mr. Woo closed his business to tackle the community problem of the need and cost of care for the homeless.  With a grant from the Saint Luke's Foundation, he launched the BE THE CHANGE Program.  He spent the last 6½ years on the street 7 nights a week working with the homeless and agencies that serve them.  He has become acutely familiar with local health, emergency, homeless and recovery services.   He has Missouri Recovery Support Specialist accreditation.  Today, he is well known and highly respected by the target population and wider community.  He has twice made presentations to the National Health Care for the Homeless Conference, the Kansas Conference on Poverty, the Missouri Leadership Challenge and received numerous local honors. 
 
Kar Woo says his life prepared him for the BE THE CHANGE Program.  After attending school in Kowloon, he came to the US to study at Waldorf College in Iowa, then the University of Iowa and KU.  Woo became accustomed to asking questions to understand campus language and customs.  While his apartment building burned, he found himself on the street and, uninsured, owing for the furnishings the fire destroyed.  Starting and operating his business also provided a wealth of personal and business lessons. 
 
He first encountered the homeless when he moved his store near the Plaza.  Walking his dog in Mill Creek Park one Sunday night, he saw MNU students talking and serving homeless people dinner.  He joined in, heard their stories and realized he could help them identify and access resources to address their issues much as he solved clients and business issues.  His experiences began to come together. 
Co-CEO/Executive Director
Term Start
Compensation Last Year
Staff
Paid Full-Time Staff 8
Paid Part-Time Staff 1
Volunteers 5
Paid Contractors 0
Retention Rate 67%
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Plans & Policies
Organization Has a Fundraising Plan Yes
Organization Has a Strategic Plan Yes
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Collaborations
The BE THE CHANGE Program is a true collaboration, working with a wide range of organizations  sharing the common goal of helping mutual homeless clients obtain the assistance they need and to, ultimately, secure long term housing.  This network includes hospitals, health care providers, homeless and domestic violence shelters, detox and treatment programs, many local homeless programs, drug and mental health courts, police departments across the metro, transitional living facilities, local universities, corporations, churches and many others.  
 
By design, the program works with, rather than duplicates the many dedicated specialized services that comprise the homeless services safety net.  It improves the collective impact of these services by filling gaps, coordinating care, intensive street outreach and working with clients throughout their path off the street. 
 
These collaborations take many forms including financial and in-kind support, client referral or treatment, assistance on individual clients, training and technical assistance.  Because it is not facility based, the program often works with clients in facilities of collaborating agencies. This is possible because the program addresses individual and systemic challenges to improve outcomes and efficiency for its partners.   
 
Awards
Award/RecognitionOrganizationYear
Stuart Whitney Award for Excellence in Community AdvocacyHomeless Services Coalition of Greater Kansas City2009
Professional AwardNational Alliance on Mental Illness - Kansas City Chapter2010
Champion VolunteerCity of Kansas City, Missouri2011
Hero of the YearPrimitivo Garcia World Language Elementary School2011
The 100 Making KC a Nicer PlaceKC Magazine2012
Aaron L. Levitt Social Entrepreneurship Challenge ChangemakerUMKC Henry W Bloch School of Management Department of Public Affairs2014
Michael Williams Professional AwardKansas City Substance Abuse Treatment and Recovery Support Coalition2014
Finalist, Citizen of the YearKansas City Star2015
Amy Fox Servant's Heart AwardNewhouse2016
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the government? No
CEO Comments

The program's activities do not require individual or agency licensing, in part because the program draws upon an extensive collaboration of accredited agencies and professionals to provide specialized services. Program Director, 

Board Chair
Board Chair Dean Katerndahl
Company Affiliation Mid America Regional Council (retired)
Term Jan 2011 to Dec 2016
Board Members
NameAffiliation
Jody Abbott North Kansas City Hospital
Ron Barnhart Retired Physician
Mary Blomquist Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools
Liz Cessor Saint Luke's Health System
Suzanne Discenza Park University
Jeff Dozier Self-employed
Christine Fuhrman TLC Kids
Dean Kanterdahl Mid America Regional Council
Marcia Katerndahl Housewife, Community Volunteer
Sara Kircher Waddell & Reed, Inc
Russ Townsley Retired Grain Company Executive
Eric Vernon Baldwin and Vernon LLC
Jennifer Wettstein
Kar Y Woo Artists Helping the Homeless
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 1
Caucasian 11
Hispanic/Latino 2
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 6
Female 8
Unspecified 0
Governance
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 0
Board Meeting Attendance % 68%
Written Board Selection Criteria? No
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 30%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 6
Standing Committees
Finance
Operations
Program / Program Planning
CEO Comments

Program funding presented a challenge. The gaps the program fills exist for a reason. Although essential for clients' success, these services are not typically reimbursed or paid for by insurance and other funding sources. While they view these costs as the client's responsibility, homeless clients are impoverished. And, as a true collaboration, the program tries not to directly compete with other homeless services for the limited traditional homeless funding.

 

The Board developed a Funding Plan to address this unique challenge.  The solution was to look to these collaborating agencies and others the see first-hand the program’s results and benefits. A conservative estimate is the program saves local emergency services over $5 for each $1 invested. Collaborating agencies provide AHH about one-third of its revenues with coalitions in which it participates providing another one-third. Individual, corporate and religious organizations provide the other one-third. Grants are used for new initiatives with the goal of being self-sustaining within two years.
 
Human Capital is another challenge.  During the development of the program, a small team, supplemented by students from local universities, was beneficial.  Most of the staff completed this or a similar program.  As the program and clientele expands, a deeper scope and depth are required to meet operational needs and sustainability.  Personnel have been added to staff Bodhi House and Finnegan Place aw well as an additional Outreach Specialist.   The program is currently working to add and train a Case Manager, an additional Outreach Specialist and complete the Finnegan Place staff.
 
The longitudinal approach is a departure from that traditionally used to provide social services.  Empathy, commitment and cultural competence are important in maintaining client engagement through a process that can last as long as a year or more.  The collaborative nature of the program requires the ability to understand and work within the requirements and cultures of multiple outside agencies.   While these unique aspects of the program require additional skills and training, they are attractive to individuals that like to work with cases from beginning to end. 
 
 
Financials
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01, 2016
Fiscal Year End Dec 31, 2016
Projected Revenue $447,000
Projected Expenses $437,000
Foundation Comments
  • FY 2014, 2013, 2012:  Financial data reported using IRS Form 990.  
  • Foundation/corporate revenue line items may include contributions from individuals.
Detailed Financials
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201420132012
Program Expense$292,904$279,398$297,131
Administration Expense$23,530$20,306$24,331
Fundraising Expense$1,874$1,565$1,293
Payments to Affiliates--$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.071.070.92
Program Expense/Total Expenses92%93%92%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue1%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201420132012
Total Assets$321,403$301,922$305,251
Current Assets$59,451$11,712$59,538
Long-Term Liabilities$132,500$132,500$157,500
Current Liabilities$6,433$7,906$7,778
Total Net Assets$182,470$161,516$139,973
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201420132012
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities9.241.487.65
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201420132012
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets41%44%52%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201420132012
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountAnonymous $111,061Saint Luke's Hospital Foundation $79,582 --
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountAnonymous $62,500Anonymous $50,000 --
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountAnonymous $31,838Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City $40,500 --
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? Yes
Campaign Purpose Purchase and complete renovation of Finnegan Place, a sober living apartment for those reintegrating.
Goal $500,000.00
Dates Aug 2016 to July 2019
Amount Raised to Date $50,000.00 as of Aug 2016
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years No
Organization Comments
People and organizations that encounter the work of the BE THE CHANGE Program are the major sources of AHH funding.  Hospitals, community collaborations and corporations have generously supported the program financially and in-kind.  While that can be attributed in part to the design of the funding model implemented in 2013, it affirms the benefits seen by those who see what the program does first hand.  A conservative estimate is the program saves over $5 for each $1 invested.
 
The gaps the program fills exist for a reason.  Although essential for clients' success, these services are not typically reimbursed or paid for by traditional sources.  The program's homeless clients are impoverished while insurance and other reimbursement sources view these costs as the client's responsibility.
 
Revenues from community coalitions were $35,575, $136,561 and $120,000 in 2013, 2014 and 2015 respectively. 
 
The program provides transportation to take clients to shelters, treatment and appointments for medical, legal, housing, employment and similar matters.  These rides enable clients to access appropriate resources and address issues in a timely manner.  They also improve efficiency of collaborating agencies by assuring clients are qualified and reducing both no-shows and recidivism.
 
Direct Assistance includes housing support, food, clothing, supplies and medication to help clients get and stay off the street.  Many times, these items are requried for admittance to a program, housing or to secure a job.
 
Salaries and other personnel costs, as well as depreciation, are primarily related to the transportation, street outreach and care coordination provided by the program.  The program is not facility based, so program related occupancy costs are relatively low.
 
Administrative cost, primarily interest, audit and insurance, remains under 7½% of total costs. 
 
 
Organization Name Artists Helping the Homeless, Inc.
Address 3625 Warwick Blvd
Kansas City, MO 64111
Primary Phone (816) 668-1007
Contact Email katoahh@me.com
CEO/Executive Director Kar Y Woo
Board Chair Dean Katerndahl
Board Chair Company Affiliation Mid America Regional Council (retired)
Year of Incorporation 2008