Samuel, Bessie, and their three children - Joseph, Jeremiah, and Samantha - arrived in Kansas City from California on August 4, 2016, after spending the last couple of years couch-surfing with friends, staying at homeless shelters, and even living on the streets at times. Samuel has family members here in the Kansas City metropolitan area and hoped they could support his family until they could get on their feet financially. Unfortunately, the family members were unable to provide them the help they so desperately needed, and Samuel, Bessie, and their kids found themselves homeless once more. Ultimately, the family found shelter at Salvation Army Crossroads Family Shelter and enrolled the children in the Independence School District (ISD). After learning of their struggle to maintain stable housing, social workers with the ISD referred the family to CSL.
The living room of the Lane family's new home. All the furniture was donated by friends of CSL.
Bessie and Samuel came to Community Services League on October 11, 2016, for an interview with our housing team and it was determined that they qualified for CSL’s Permanent Supportive Housing Initiative, funded in part by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). In order to qualify for the initiative, clients must be: (1) chronically homeless (defined as 12 months of homelessness in a three-year time period); and (2) someone in the household must have a documented disability. Once the family was deemed eligible and documentation was provided, the housing search began.
CSL partnered with Prime Realty, where the owner has Independence roots and a house was quickly located. Once the family was shown the house, and decided that the location and size met all their needs, the lease was drawn up and operation “Furnish the Lane Home” began. CSL’s housing team flexed their social media muscles and gathered donations of furniture and household items from supportive community members. Local businesses also stepped up with donations of furniture. Staff worked long and hard to get the house move-in ready with all of the essentials so that it was not just a house - it was place Samuel, Bessie and their children could call “HOME”. On November 2, 2016 the family moved in and now has a place to lay their heads at night and make everlasting memories.