IUPAT DC #3 apprentices have spent the past several weeks providing their services for the much needed repair of the 4 story domestic violence shelter located in the northeast section of Kansas City. Newhouse, the oldest domestic violence shelter in the city, founded in 1971, resides in the urban core in a 60 year-old building that was and still is, in need of significant repairs. There are only 350 beds available in the city for domestic violence victims and their families and 88 of those beds are housed at Newhouse. Local DC #3 heard about Newhouse through Glazing contractor AGP Inc. Owner, Dan Hankinson, planned to donate material and labor See IUPAT  for a remodeling project at Newhouse and contacted Director of Training, Chad Dalton, for assistance. During the initial site visit, they noticed the building was also in dire need of paint and drywall finishing work. Dalton rallied his troops and the apprentices jumped right in restoring and patching much of the paint and concrete at the center, beautifying the old building. DC #3 Instructors, Larry Bowline and Paul Kurkowski accepted the challenge and took the lead on the project. When the actual remodeling project begins, IUPAT DC #3 will be there to help with the glazing portion of the project. These acts of initiative and kindness speak to the generosity of the union spirit.

“We are just happy to help such grateful people. It’s great to talk to Karena, Newhouse Director of Shelter Engagement, and hear her say how awesome OUR Union is!” said Chad Dalton. Newhouse is led by Courtney Thomas, President and CEO. “Our initial focus was on the children’s area, but when they noticed how damaged our walls were, cracking paint, bubbling from water damage among many other issues, they graciously volunteered to address this massive project. What a difference it has made. We are forever grateful for the work they have done and I have to say the quality of their work is impressive!” Thomas said. The total number of survivors and families that Newhouse assisted in 2020 is 15,000. Funding is limited and the Newhouse budget is already stretched thin with no available funds to address the upkeep of the aging building. The pandemic has caused major fundraising events to be canceled, further impacting operating budgets.

IUPAT Apprentices Help Out Their Community

Without IUPAT DC #3, the beautification of the old building would have never occurred. The shelter is located in the urban core, within a three-mile radius of where 80-85% of the violent crimes prosecuted in Jackson County’s Prosecutor’s Office occurs. There are only 342 beds for domestic violence survivors each night in Kansas City. Newhouse provides 88 of those emergency beds. In addition, Newhouse provides adult and children’s therapy, court advocacy services, transitional housing support, three hot meals a day, case management, outreach services and more. They also provide the only onsite school in a domestic violence shelter for children kindergarten through sixth grade, along with 50+ hours of free childcare. All services are provided to survivors free of charge. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for their services has spiked. The Kansas City Police Department has seen an increase of 27% in domestic violence calls. They have had to limit the availability of in-shelter services to comply with CDC guidelines which has resulted in creative solutions such as shifting survivors into hotels to ensure their safety, adding additional unexpected expenses. Domestic violence never takes a break. Neither does Newhouse. The goal of Newhouse is to provide an ecosystem of transformative services that allow survivors to achieve safety, self-sufficiency and whole-person-healing. Their goal is to make certain that survivors have access to a paying wage, housing, mental health services, transportation, childcare, medical care, etc., in addition to the temporary safe shelter at Newhouse. There is still much renovation work to be done on the ailing building. Generous donations from the Hall Family Foundation and the Sunderland Foundation will allow them to add an additional 12 beds in the future. Roof, kitchen and bathroom updates are on the to-do list, as well as adding an intake vestibule. This area is much needed and will allow victims and their families a safe area before entering into the facilities general population. Thank you to the IUPAT DC #3 leadership and apprentice volunteers who have made a difference in our community through your generous actions. More than 36,000 survivors received domestic violence services in Missouri in 2019, according to the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. These are *just* the survivors who sought help. Many more are living in fear and silence. If you are interested in supporting Newhouse visit: newhousekc.org/donate.

Published