Friends of Jersey Creek Walking Club Releases 2016 Schedule

healthy wyandotteStart your weekend on an active note–and meet new friends–with the Friends of Jersey Creek Walking Club. The group meets at 10 a.m. on Saturdays at Heathwood Park (10th Street and Parallel Parkway, Kansas City, Kan.). All participating walkers receive pedometers and walking journals so you can track your progress. Grab your calendar and make note of the following Walking Club dates:

March 5
March 12
March 19
March 26
April 2
April 9
April 16
April 23
April 30
May 7
May 14
May 21
May 28
June 4
June 11
June 18
June 25
July 2
July 9
July 16
July 23
July 30
August 6
August 13
August 20
August 27
September 3
September 10
September 17
September 24
October 1

Please note that the group meets, weather permitting. For additional information, call the KCK Community Line at (913) 624-9210. Hope to see you out and about for a stroll!


You’re Invited: Mayor Holland’s Listening Tour, Business Edition, With FIA

mayor holland listening tourDowntown KCK business owners and employees, we’ve got an exciting opportunity for you. You’ve likely heard of Mayor Mark Holland’s Listening Tour, during which Mayor Holland visited each of the districts in KCK to gather community feedback on how to spend or invest the $12 million that will be the result of a sales tax windfall once the STAR bonds used to finance Village West are paid off in 2017. Now, that listening tour is coming to the business community, and we want you to be there to share your input.

Join the Fairfax Industrial Association for the organization’s March luncheon: Mayor Holland’s Listening Tour–Business Edition, which begins at 11:15 a.m. on Thursday, March 10, at General Motors (3201 Fairfax Trafficway, Kansas City, Kan.) Admission is $15 for members and non-members and includes lunch. Please RSVP to Melissa by 5 p.m., March 4, at execdir[at]fiakck[dot]org. Advance reservations and payments are required; walk-ins will not be admitted. Please park in the visitor or south lots and wear closed-toe or low-heeled shoes.

During the luncheon, you’ll have a chance to offer feedback on how the $12 million should be spent or invested. Here’s an advance look at the discussion survey, as well as some Unified Government budget background. This is an excellent opportunity to not only make your voice heard, but also join Downtown Shareholders as we work to continually improve downtown Kansas City, Kan., and help ensure the business community has the resources it needs to succeed.

See you on March 10!


Frank Williams Housing Resource Center Discontinues Walk-In Services

As of Monday, Feb. 15, 2016, walk-in services have ended at Frank Williams Housing Resource Center, including showers, laundry, computers and telephone, among others. Rather than dropping into the facility, Wyandot Center consumers with a case manager should please contact their case manager for assistance. For those with case managers located at another service location, please call Wyandot Center at (913) 328-4600.

Here’s more on the announcement from Sherrie Watkins-Alvey, Senior Director, Housing and Employment, Wyandot Center for Community Behavioral Healthcare, Inc.:

“For the past four years, Wyandot Center has offered walk-in services to our consumers and non-consumers at Frank Williams Housing Resource Center (FWHRC). Services have included showers, laundry facilities, computers, telephones and more.  Since we opened the facility, this component of FWHRC has operated as an unfunded program, relying on revenue generated by other parts of our organization.

Unexpected policy and funding decisions at the State Capitol and by managed care organizations over the past several months have impacted our ability to continue offering unfunded programs like these walk-in services. These challenges have led us to the difficult decision to discontinue walk-in services at FWHRC. Effective at 8:30 a.m. Monday, Feb. 15, 2016, these services will no longer be available.

We are doing everything we can to let our patrons, consumers, staff and community partners know about these changes. We are providing FWHRC patrons with information about other community resources. This transition could result in increased demand for services you provide to persons who have come to FWHRC in the past.

Wyandot Center and our staff remain available and committed to serving the needs of adults living with mental illness who are experiencing issues with housing.  The Supportive Housing, Homeless Outreach and CABHI Teams will continue this work and will remain based at FWHRC.”

Downtown Shareholders will continue to keep you updated as information is available. Our thoughts are with Frank Williams Housing Resource Center, Wyandot Center and all of the excellent organizations who do so much to help those in need throughout the Kansas City, Kansas community.


Have Lunch with Asst. County Administrator Melissa Mundt on Feb. 12

melissa mundt kckWe’re excited to welcome Assistant County Administrator Melissa Mundt as the featured speaker during our February “In the Know” luncheon. Join us from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 12, at the Reardon Convention Center (500 Minnesota Ave., Kansas City, Kan.). After lunch and networking, Melissa will share more about what’s ahead in 2016, including the developing vision for downtown KCK and Wyandotte County.

Admission is $20 and includes buffet lunch. Please pay by cash or check at the door. To make sure we plan accordingly for food, RSVP by noon on Thursday, Feb. 11, to director[at]downtownkck[dot]org. Hope to see you there!


Can Public Spaces Make Healthier Communities?

waterway park kckThe following is an excerpt from a post written by Steve Curtis, director of community building and engagement at Community Housing of Wyandotte County, a tireless downtown KCK champion and longtime friend of Downtown Shareholders.

“I recently read an article by Alex Smith, “Can Restoring Parks Lead to Better Health in Wyandotte County,” which mentions Waterway Park as an example of a park making a comeback in downtown Kansas City, Kan. What is not mentioned is that the revitalization of Waterway Park was made possible by nonprofit agencies, grant funding, a few thousand hours of volunteer labor and summer programming.

Community Housing of Wyandotte County wrote grants, recruited volunteers to plant trees, add landscaping and install benches; put in a bike rack and nighttime illumination. We added wheelchair accessibility, started walking clubs, and provided weekly art classes in the summer. They also partnered with the Latino Health for All Coalition nonprofit organization to help fund a soccer field. The Parks Department installed workout stations and the YMCA held soccer clinics and provided personal trainers to help residents get the most benefit from the stations. Free Wheels for Kids, another nonprofit, held clinics and helped bring bike races to the park. Today, Waterway Park is a shining example of what a neighborhood park can be when the residents and community organizations are engaged in community building.”

Head to Steve’s website to read the rest of his post.

Image via Steve Curtis