Every Child’s Hope Kansas City Steppingstone Introduces New Campus Project

The Every Child’s Hope Steppingstone campus in Kansas City, Mo., has provided transitional living services to thousands of youth for more than 30 years. The program is designed to help young people ages 16 to 21 develop skills to prepare them for independent living. Steppingstone clients are typically homeless or at risk of becoming homeless due to aging out of foster care.

 “In many cases, these youth do not have a strong support system to help them transition from childhood to adulthood,” says KC Steppingstone Director Lynn Durbin. “We provide much more than food, shelter and clothing. It is not just about addressing their immediate physical needs, even though we do that, too.”

An essential element of Steppingstone is teaching basic life skills the residents will need to live on their own. These are skills many of us take for granted — cooking, consumer education, money management, job readiness, and self care, to name a few.

In 2015, the St. Louis Steppingstone program converted the former director’s home on its campus to a Life Skills Center that has proven its value to the program. The youth in the program now have a place to learn life skills through individual and group training and hands-on experience.

The Every Child’s Hope (ECH) Kansas City campus currently has an empty three-bedroom house that will be converted to a Life Skills Center in 2022. It will include staff offices, a kitchen and laundry area for hands-on skills training, a computer lab where youth can complete online school assignments and job applications, a large meeting space for educational programs, group life skills classes and guest speaker presentations, and a resource library. It will also hire a new Life Skills Coordinator to work with youth on individual and group life skill education in the new center.

Fundraising efforts are underway to support the renovation and start-up costs for the new center. “We are so grateful and delighted to announce we have received lead gifts for the project from the Sunderland Foundation and Hall Family Foundation in Kansas City,” says Every Child’s Hope CEO Michael Brennan.

The life skills center is expected open this coming winter. ECH will hold an open house in Spring 2023.

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CHHSM Board and Staff are grieved to learn of the death of our friend and colleague, Greg Watson, who died in October 2022. Greg was vice president of operations for Embrace Living Communities, based in Oak Brook, Ill.Greg was a graduate of CHHSM’s Nollau Leadership Institute, class of 2018-2019, and was consecrated as a Diakonal Minister during our 2019 Annual Gathering in Chicago. In an article about his class in June 2018 — not long after the group’s first retreat — Greg said, “The best part is not only beginning the process of clarifying your calling; but also, understanding and accepting one’s personal strength. Recognition of one’s ‘true' self enables us to serve from a place of wholeness.”Greg also served on the CHHSM Board of Directors, and was a beloved friend and colleague to many in the CHHSM family. Embrace Living stated on its website, “Greg was an outstanding servant leader for 17 years at Embrace Living Communities. He will be greatly missed.”CHHSM sends its prayers and love to Greg’s friends, family, and Embrace Living colleagues. ... See MoreSee Less
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