Front Porch Alliance-Kansas City

Rating: 5 stars   9 reviews

Issues: Economic Development

Location: 3210 Michigan Kansas City MO 64109 USA

Mission: Create partnerships to improve lives, build relationships and revitalize neighborhoods within Ivanhoe and surrounding communities. In simple terms, the mission of the Front Porch Alliance is to partner with the residents of an urban neighborhood that has long been forgotten and give them the hope and determination to take back their community from the crime and blight and drugs that have consumed it over the past 35 years and made it a less than acceptable place to live and to raise a family. The first step in accomplishing this mission was to sit down with the residents and have them identify their priorities - we were willing to do whatever we could to help them create a more livable neighborhood but quite honestly we could not begin to understand what it felt like to walk in their shoes so it was evident we needed to listen first. After the priorities were identified - education, beautification, economic development and health - we were able to move forward, working alongside them to develop programs that addressed these concerns. As for our ultimate goals, we would like to see the crime rate measure at zero, to see each child receive an excellent education, to see each able resident have a job, to see each home be well-maintained, and to see each family thrive in a wholesome, nurturing environment. We''ve made great strides but there is still much to be done.
Results: We offer a multitude of programs to assist the residents in taking back their community - life skills classes, tutoring, family support, computer classes, health initiatives, minor home repair - but the greatest accomplishment is that we have given them hope, combined with the knowledge that they deserve a better life than they have been living and the tools to make that happen.
Target demographics: The people we serve are the residents of an urban Kansas City neighborhood. The majority of these residents are senior citizens, many of whom are raising their grandchildren, and the rest are mostly single moms with a number of children. Nearly 45% of these children live below the poverty level.
Direct beneficiaries per year: 500
Geographic areas served: Urban neighborhoods in urban Kansas City, Missouri
Programs: 6-week summer program for youth ages 14-16 in which they learn economic education skills that help them develop their own businesses. They write a business plan, conduct market research, determine what product they wish to produce, develop a budget, buy their supplies, and then create and sell their products at different venues in the neighborhood. After repaying the loan they took from the Front Porch Alliance to purchase production supplies, the members of the companies divide the profits from their sales. This year, two of the five companies provided a service rather than a product. One did tuck pointing and landscaping for the residents of this urban neighborhood (at an affordable price) and the other painted houses under the direction of a qualified adult coach. In 2009, 56 youth participated in the program, a 27% increase from the previous summer.

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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

I came to know this orginization because they had a summer job called the Academy of Opportunity. It teaches young people how to start their own business. They also offered Life Skill classes that helps me understand more of life. Everything they said and/or did was everything that I expected. There were no surprises or anything. This is a group of loving and caring people who understand the youth and families in the Ivanhoe Neighborhood. So far being apart of this orginiztion I have branched off with my own t-shirt business, now an assistant coach at the Academy of Opportunity, and most of all I am a better person and a role model to other youth in our community.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

everything. They are just so great coming from a teenager who feels as if I can't talk to many people... They were/are here to talk to and tell all my problems or help me in an dramatic downfall that I may have. I love these guys and would say that they are one of the best nonprofit orginizations that anyone could count and or call on. They will try to make a way even if its not a way they will make it!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-6-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

15 people found this review helpful

I love this organization and love what it is about. The people in Front Porch that I have the pleasure of knowing have a quality about them that lets a person know that they are truly in their lines of work to help out in the community. They aren't like any other group who helps out the less fortunate just to look good in the public's eye; they honestly care about each individual they assist. Front Porch is the type of organization that does the best job in their field and won't ask for recognition of their endevours. Front Porch has taught me lessons about the importance of giving back to my community, and these lessons will stay with me in my personality and the positive actions I take for the rest of my life. I owe much of my current success in my young life to Front Porch, for I have only accomplished those acheivements with Front Porch

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the growth of my fellow peers and myself in the numerous activities Front Porch has held in the past.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

put Ms. Patsy in charge, or at least have her as my business coach and advisor.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

how much of an impact I and others apart of Front Porch make in our community.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Incredible and some of the kindest and dearing people any one person or people could ask for. I love you Ms. Patsy and Ms. Colleen!!!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

continue its success by extending its reaches to the many communities in the US that doesn't know about Front Porch

Ways to make it better...

I don't believe my experience could have been anymore better than before. The only way, maybe, is occassional celebrity appearances from household names, like Micheal Jordan or Maya Angelou.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Raising enough money to help communities on a nation-wide scale and getting Front Porch's name out there so people will know about them.

One thing I'd also say is that...

Ms. Patsy and Ms. Colleen are the best!!!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-1-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

13 people found this review helpful

I came to know this wonderful organization and church when I was assigned to the Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council 9 years ago as a community organizer for Project Neighborhood. I was facing a hugh challenge, because my assignment was to assist the Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council in reorganing their neighborhood. Project Neighborhood choose Ivanhoe because of the high crime, numerous drug houses, littered streets and illegal dumping sites and the small number of involved residents. Front Porch Alliance came to the rescue by assisting the neighborhood in all of their initiates to revive the neighborhood. Their first task was to fund and assist in organizing clean ups, because they recognized that the apperance of neighborhood was the first phase of revitalization. Front Porch Alliance has since vitally saved the lives of many residents and youth by providing numerous services and programs that were not available for them before the Front Porch Alliance partner with the Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Saving the lives of residents

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Change nothing

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Having a place to refer residents who are in need

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Wonderful

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Expand to other community

Ways to make it better...

I could spent more time assist Front Porch

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Having enough funds

One thing I'd also say is that...

I can always count on Front Porch Alliance, when I have no one else to turn to.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2000-9-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

16 people found this review helpful

Front Porch Alliance works to enhance the lives of the residents of the neighbrhoods it serves by providing mentoring and tutoring programs, minor home repair, nutrition and health programs, life skills programs, job training, parent training and support groups. It gives the people it serves access to the Kansas City cultural community. It encourages students to stay in school and provides them many opportunities for fun and learning. It builds bridges between people of different Kansas City neighborhoods by connecting volunteers and residents. By doing that, it makes volunteers more aware of the problems of people who live in poverty as well as what we have in common.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the trust it has developed with the residents of the neighborhood and the staff and faculty of the school it serves.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

create a program for high school students that would direct them to the best high schools, teach them study skills, offer ACT/SAT prep classes, mentor them through the college process, offer a place to study a couple of afternoons a week, and hold them to high academic standards.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

working directly with the residents in the neighborhood.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

extraordinary, committed, dedicated, faithful and hardworking. One of the reasons FPA succeeds is that its staff and volunteers stay the course.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

build a facility where we could train residents of KansasCity for employment, tutor the children after school, provide a gym for the youth to play and have a safe place to hang out. On Saturdays all of our programs would be held under one roof. More residents of the urban core could be served.

Ways to make it better...

I can't imagine my experience being better. The staff supports the volunteers, the residents have embraced me, and the work is satisfying. My work with Front Porch has changed my life.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

resolving our space issues and hiring more staff. Both of these require more funding.

One thing I'd also say is that...

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-8-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

15 people found this review helpful

FPA is the standard bearer for cooperative efforts with innercity neighborhoods to improve living conditions and develop a concerned community.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

top notch !

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-4-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Overall, this is an excellent organization committed to helping people develop life-skills enabling them to become self sufficient citizens. I have had the previlige of serving as a mentor in the Career Builder's Resource Center since its inception last year. This group was established by the Front Porch Alliance to help men of all ages find meaningful employment. The level of appreciation expressed by these men for the help they have received in learning basic job search skills has been outstanding. We have helped them develop their skills in resume writing, locating job opportunities, applying for jobs, and interviewing. In addition, a course in basic computer skills was recently taught by the mentors and five mentees "graduated". I urge the men of the community to participate as a mentor. It is truly needed and a rewarding experience.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the self confidence the mentees have developed. Some have found positions and others are approaching the job search in a disciplined and eager manner.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

work hard to maintain the excellent staff that is currently in place.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

it offers a way to share some knowledge and techniques that I have learned in my career. The see the look of gratitude on the faces of those we have worked with is truly rewarding.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

truly dedicated to fulfilling the mission of Front Porch Alliance.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

open a full time career development center dedicated helping the men and women of the inner-city train for and find meaningful employment and take a major step forward in eliminating poverty and crime.

Ways to make it better...

we could have done more faster. These men need jobs now, but the process takes time. As the Career program becomes more established and well-known, we hope the business community will step forward with more job opportunities for these deserving men.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

adequate funding and continuing to develop trust levels within the community it serves. FPA has made excellent strides in establishing a level of trust in the community by maintaining a presense and following through on its programs.

One thing I'd also say is that...

everyone should step out of their secure everyday world and lend a hand to those in need. These people do not want welfare they want to opportunity to be contributing citizens. Let's help and make it a better place for everyone!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-6-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

Front Porch Alliance works "alongside" the residents in the Ivanhoe neighborhood making the physical conditions of their homes better and providing programming for the adults and youth in the neighborhood. FPA did not come once or twice but has stayed and for that the residents are grateful. FPA has built alot of "trust" with their neighbors. I love the summer programming for the youth and the monthly "Learn 'n Grow" programming for all residents.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the successes they've had with the children and the trust they've built with all of the residents.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

working with such a wonderful Director and Board.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

so giving of their time and talents. THey really take the time to get to know the residents in the neighborhood.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

house all of the FPA programming in a neighborhood community center.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-5-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

As one of the early Board members of Front Porch Alliance, we learned from experts in community development that the only way to succeed in helping revitalize the Ivanhoe community was to work alongside the residents and help them to meet their own goals. We've worked hard to involve the residents in planning and implementation. I feel that after 9 years, we've formed lifelong friendships, broken down stereotypes on both sides, built trust - and best of all, improved life in the neighborhoods.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

reduced crime, fewer drug houses, youth participating actively in positive programs, less trash, and friendships that transcend racial barriers.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

hire more staff.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

seeing the change that has happened over 9 years.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

warm, caring and hard working!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

reach many more people.

Ways to make it better...

we could help create more positive job opportunities for residents of Ivanhoe.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

in creating more job opportunities.

One thing I'd also say is that...

the way that FPA works with the residents means harder, messier work - but it's really the only way to succeed in the long run.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-6-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

This is an organization that gets their hands dirty helping residents of the urban core improve their day to day living. I learned about them while volunteering with my son's class to to a cleanup in the neighborhood and build a pocket park for the residents. Front Porch knows the residents and can instantly respond to their special needs in a crisis. Residents who have grown to trust the organization and "pay it forward".

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Helping the residents in emergencies and crises. It is expensive to live in poverty

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Smile and cry a lot.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Seeing the residents thrive and help their neighbors.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Kind, caring people who work too many hours!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Touch the whole city.

Ways to make it better...

I had had a better understanding of poverty.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Awareness in the community.

One thing I'd also say is that...

These guys keep coming back to help the residents.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-1-01

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