SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The Kitchen, Inc. has broken ground on a new affordable housing development in Springfield for veterans and those ages 55 and older.
The nonprofit social service provider’s latest project to curb homelessness in the community is similar to its McClernon Villas, which opened in 2017 for homeless veterans and their families.
The new Maplewood Villas will be located on Chestnut Expressway, west of West Bypass, and will include 44-units, The Kitchen CEO Meleah Spencer told The Heartlander.
“We know that is a demand and need in our community,” Spencer said. “That’s why we chose to do another development focused on ages 55-plus.”
The new development will set aside 11 villas for homeless veterans, and some villas will be designated for those who are in danger of becoming homeless in the near future.
The Kitchen works closely with the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, local veterans affairs departments and Supportive Services of Veteran Families. Spencer says 50% of funding comes from programs such as the VA, Missouri Housing Development Commission and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The other 50% comes through grants, private donations and other partners.
When speaking of solutions to curb homelessness in the area, Spencer emphasized the need for collaboration between local organizations such as The Kitchen and Eden Village, a similar nonprofit that helps house the chronically disabled and homeless.
“It takes all of us working together,” she said. “The Kitchen is never going to solve homelessness on its own. We have to partner, and we have to have a multitude of options for folks to be able to maintain and have permanent housing. That is exactly what Eden Village is doing. That’s what we are doing through our five programs. Affordable housing is just one of the things we do.”
Spencer says the Maplewood Villas will feature two bedrooms, one bathroom, a full kitchen and living area. In addition to housing, residents will be able to use the onsite computer lab and enjoy potlucks and celebrations in the community center to connect with their neighbors.
“Not only do they have that to call home, but there will also be a community building,” she said. “That community building will house the property manager and also our community resource case manager. That community resource manager is there for all tenants to help them connect with other resources in the community they need, especially those that are living on a fixed income.”
To find out more about The Kitchen, Inc. and its programs, visit the website here.