Many Kansas City residents may have heard of HopeBUILDERS, but some may wonder who we are, what do we do, and how we find our clients.
Who We Are
HopeBUILDERS is a locally-formed, independent, non-profit group working to help disadvantaged people maintain or repair their homes. We generally define “disadvantaged” to mean elderly or those with disabilities, but may also include low-income families.
Our volunteers and funding come from corporations, churches, and the community. A group of dedicated board members lead the 100 percent volunteer-based organization. We welcome volunteers of all skill levels.
The HopeBUILDERS’ philosophy is based on close cooperation between the homeowner, the non-profit, and many partner organizations. HopeBUILDERS provides the project management, administration, and labor. We also arrange with partner organizations and donors to secure project funding.
Want to help? Our volunteers are eager to pitch in on painting, flooring and wall repairs, yard clean-up, accessibility adaptations, and – our most recognized work – building wheelchair ramps.
Our clients tend to find us. We maintain a presence through our Facebook page and website. Social workers also know about us, and word of mouth spreads.
After potential clients request assistance, we carry out an intake process. During the intake, we gather information, then visit the potential client to assess their home situation to see what help we can provide. Potential clients typically qualify, as long as they have limited financial means and have valid needs where HopeBUILDERS can assist.
Getting a Chance to Know Our Clients
It is common for clients to watch during a ramp project, mainly because it is hard to believe we can build it in a day. They say: “A RAMP IN ONE DAY?!”. And at the end of that day, clients are able to come out of the front door and have a sense of freedom they have never had before. We as volunteers get to see how we have changed a client’s life in a significant way. We get a chance to know them.
One client family, a woman and her daughter, needed a bathroom remodel. We spent four months gutting and remodeling the bathroom so it could meet their needs. Sadly, the daughter passed away not long after the project was completed. A few of us went to her memorial, because over the course of four months, we had developed a relationship with the family.
We grow to appreciate and admire our clients, because they are just trying to live like everyone else, usually on their own without any help.
We founded HopeBUILDERS in 2000, and have been able to serve more people over time. Over the past ten years, the ramp project has really been “ramping up.” Community awareness of ramp needs has grown. Our ramp construction process has also improved, and we can usually complete a ramp in one day. Our ability to serve more clients has steadily increased over time. As we move along, we are more aware of the tremendous need that exists in the Kansas City community.
Last year, we served 69 clients, up 50 percent from the year before. Thirty-five of these projects were ramps. We typically have more than 60 clients on our waiting list. We know there is a tremendous need, but we only have so many resources. If you would like to become a HopeBUILDERS volunteer, please visit our volunteer page. And if you are moved to help us financially, please visit our donor page to donate.
If you are in need of assistance, please visit our website or call 888-HOPE-001.