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A Place of Rest Becomes a Place of Recovery

“Lay’s potato chips,” says KCRM recovery resident Brian with a grin, “You can’t have just one.” Then growing more serious, Brian admits that for him a drink of alcohol is the same. After Brian’s struggle with alcoholism ruined relationships, good jobs, and places to call home, he turned to KCRM to get the help he needed. Since joining KCRM’s Christian Community of Recovery (C-COR) several months ago, he’s had to do some deep soul searching. Although at first, Brian says, he didn’t even want to go as far as to admit he had a problem. That’s all changed now. “I want to clean up my act and commit myself to change,” he says. “I want to show up and do something good for my life.” Brian continues to “show up” and thrive in C-COR, but it wasn’t the recovery program that initially drew him to KCRM. He was an overnight guest merely seeking a safe place to lay his head. “I’ve had a lot of things stolen at other [shelters] and didn’t feel safe,” says Brian. “But when I came to KCRM, it was so clean, and I felt secure.” The quality of the meals doesn’t hurt either, he says, “They DEFINITELY have the best food at KCRM.” (Even occasionally some good ole’ fashioned Lay’s potato chips.) Like all of us, Brian is a work in progress. But now, showing up with all his heart to classes, counseling appointments, and chapel services, he’s determined to complete what he has begun—and to find freedom from his past and hope for his future.

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The Working Homeless

Lazy. Undisciplined. Jobless. Hopeless. These are some of the words most commonly used to describe the homeless population. However, KCRM’s Steps Toward Success (STS) program is revealing an entirely different story about the poor in our community. STS provides shelter for working men without addictions while they aggressively save for permanent housing. Of the 62 emergency shelter beds at KCRM, approximately 40 to 50 are being filled by STS men every night. Most men that come through KCRM’s doors don’t lack ambition; they lack opportunity, explains Shelter Supervisor Larry Hansen. The goal of STS is to provide temporary help so people can get back on their feet. “Let’s say a guy loses his housing,” says Hansen. “He shouldn’t have to decide between quitting his job in order to get to a shelter on time, or sleeping under a bridge while continuing to work.” In order to be enrolled in KCRM’s 90-day STS program, men have to: Meet regularly with case managers Prove they are working 40 hours a week Provide bank statements that show aggressive savings for housing   The success of STS has been phenomenal, says Hansen. “The program is about empowering rather than enabling, and we’ve been able to break long-standing perceptions about the homeless.”

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A Word from Joe Colaizzi on Retirement

In 1985, on Super Bowl Sunday, I began my adventure as executive director of Kansas City Rescue Mission. To tell you the truth, the board at that time wasn’t sure KCRM, then located in a deteriorating building in the River Market, could exist much longer. They wondered if it might be a good idea to just close it down. But I asked them to give me a chance, and thankfully they said, “Yes!” Since that day over three decades ago, my wife Marilyn and I watched in amazement as God brought the people who would grow the ministry into our doors. Donors, volunteers, staff, homeless men and women — he used their skills, their finances, their prayers and their needs to build KCRM into the vibrant ministry it is today. It has been a great adventure — and you’ve been such an important part of it! That’s why I’m writing today to let you know about our plans for the future. It may be a little sentimental, but I’ve decided my final day as KCRM’s executive director will be Super Bowl Sunday, February 2, 2020. Members of KCRM’s board of directors have teamed up with our executive team and me to prepare for my retirement: finding the next leader to serve as the Mission’s executive director, and preparing our staff, donors and our community for this transition. Above all, we are committed to the mission of KCRM to “offer freedom and hope to the poor and homeless, empowering them to reach their full potential.” You can rest assured that every program we offer — from providing nutritious meals and safe, clean shelter, to our Christ-centered, residential recovery programs for men and women — will operate as vibrantly and effectively as always! I’m so thankful for your partnership, and I encourage you to contact me if you’d like to talk. I would love to hear from you! Most of all, please pray for Marilyn and me, and for KCRM as we move through this process. With gratitude and affection, Joe Colaizzi  

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June Open House Events

  Two Open House Events You Don’t Want to Miss! Reserve tickets for either of these KCRM events or attend both for just $30 a ticket by completing the form at the right. Can’t attend, but you’d still like to make a gift to KCRM? Click the red “Make a Gift” button at the top of this page and choose “My Open House gift to help KCRM.” Sunday, June 4, 1:30-3:30 KCRM Women’s Center 2611 E. 11th Street, KCMO Tickets: $10 (Get one free ticket for every two purchased so you can introduce a friend to KCRM.) What better way to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon than to take a stroll through Madeline’s Garden with a glass of iced tea and a lemon bar (or two)?  Then take a tour of the Women’s Center, enjoy stories and live music from our residents, and have an opportunity to purchase their handmade arts and crafts. One hundred percent of your ticket cost and purchases support the Women’s Center Activities Fund, financing field trips, special clothing needs, art therapy and other vital special projects. Sunday, June 25, 1:30-3:30 KCRM Men’s Center 1520 Cherry Street, KCMO Tickets: $25  (Get one free ticket for every two purchased so you can introduce a friend to KCRM.) Walk in the shoes of a homeless guest at KCRM during this immersive experience, including guided tours of the Men’s Center, live testimonies, our “24 Hours in My Shoes” video, demonstrations, displays, staff interaction and opportunities for giving.  Top off the afternoon with appetizers and dessert donated by Houlihan’s Oak Park and KCRM’s own “Dessert Brigade,” and an art show by and about the homeless. One hundred percent of your ticket cost and a portion of art proceeds supports the Men’s Center’s programs and services. Ready to begin? To purchase your tickets for one or both events … 1. Order now by completing the form on the right, or 2. Contact Julie Larocco at (816) 421-7643, ext. 141 or jlarocco@kcrm.org. Deals! For every two tickets you buy, get one free to bring a friend. Attend both events and get a combined ticket for $30!

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Women’s Center Nutrition for Health

  Nutrition and Health for KCRM Women’s Center and You! When KCRM opened its Women’s Center providing resident recovery for single homeless women with co-occurring disorders, we understood nutrition would play a big part in a holistic approach to addiction recovery and mental health treatment. The way we eat affects the way we feel physically, mentally and emotionally … and for the recovering addict, certain food either aid in relapse prevention or escalate the risk of relapse. In other words, nutrition matters short-term and in the long run for our residents … and for everyone. This page will inform you about the KCRM Women’s Center’s approach to nutrition and health. If you are a volunteer who provides meals for the Women’s Center, please use the page as you consider what foods and drinks to bring and serve to our residents. If you are donor, this page will help you determine the types of perishable and nonperishable foods you want to provide. If you have any questions or concerns as you use this page and its references, please contact Nick Franklin at (816) 421-7643 or nfranklin@kcrm.org. You can also suggest other links we can add to our page to keep it current, helpful and accurate. Thanks and God bless you! Sugar on the Brain Sugar is a typical go-to alternative for people seeking drug and alcohol treatment. During recovery, instead of reaching for the crack pipe or a bottle of vodka, the addict reaches for a box of cookies, a bag of candy, a box of donuts, a pie, a candy bar and soda. Sugar serves in this capacity for a reason. It’s called Addiction Transference — and its impact threatens every aspect of recovery. Brain science has revealed that sugar on the brain mimics the impact and effect of alcohol and drugs on the brain. Drugs and alcohol impact brain chemistry, specifically serotonin (mood regulation hormone) and dopamine (pleasure hormone), by generating triggers for cravings. Sugar acts in the same way, impacting brain chemistry and generating cravings. But sugar’s negative impact reaches beyond addiction recovery! It also plays a role in our mental health. Research has tied excessive sugar consumption to an increased risk of depression and anxiety, and to worsening symptoms experienced by individuals with schizophrenia. Further research shows that sugar negatively impacts gut health and causes a hormonal imbalance between the gut and brain. The hormonal imbalance creates inflammation, and inflammation leads to the release of cortisol. Cortisol is the “stress” hormone that alerts our bodies to the fight, flight, or freeze response/reaction. The relationship between excessive sugar and poor gut health convinces our neurotransmitters that we are in a state of stress … chronic stress. And chronic stress increases our risk for depression, mental illness, and lower life expectancy. What does this mean to you? You have the ability to help minimize the risk of Addiction Transference, and encourage the women in KCRM’s resident recovery program toward improved mental and physical health! And it’s as easy as making sure you and your group choose to bring only low-sugar and no-sugar foods and beverages into the Women’s Center. To learn more, visit the links below or contact Nick Franklin, volunteer coordinator at nfranklin@kcrm.org. Thanks! ChooseMyPlate.gov Learn about why choosing the right food and drink matters for women at KCRM and for you. WebMD Portion Sizes Learn about portion control and other great dietary information. KCRM’s Nutrition Pinterest Page Explore and share easy and nutritious recipes!  

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KCRM Unmasked

KCRM UNMASKED — October 4, 2016 KCRM’s first annual fundraising event is proud to feature speaker and Chief’s Mascot KC Wolf (Dan Meers) and two-time R&B Grammy Award Nominee, Oleta Adams. The goal of $200,000 actively supports the Mission’s calling to provide caring relief and recovery services to those in our Kansas City community suffering from devastating impact of addiction, mental illness, and homelessness. Tickets are available now! Simply complete the form below and we will contact you right away to reserve your seats! If you or your organization would like to sponsor this event, see information at the bottom of this page. The Evening KCRM Unmasked at Arrowhead Stadium-East Tower Tuesday, October 4, 6:30-8:30 Featuring KC Wolf KC Chief’s Mascot Oleta Adams Grammy-nominated recording artist Stories of Transformation Auction And More! I’m coming! Please reserve my ticket(s).

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KCRM Learning Center

KCRM Learning Center for Men and Women   Often when KCRM representatives speak to groups and individuals about homelessness, we are asked: “Why don’t they just get a job?” We generally respond with: They can get a job, but can’t maintain a job due to addiction, mental illness, poor social skills, etc., OR, They’ve been on the street so long they no longer have marketable skills that can provide a living wage. (Many cannot even fill out an online job application.)   In fact, KCRM has identified four barriers to our clients’ and residents’ success in the marketplace and in living interdependently in the community: Poor social and life skills (healthy relationships, budgeting, anger management, housekeeping, food preparation, etc.) Insufficient education and very limited access to adult education Lack of job-readiness skills and marketable skills Few jobs requiring limited skills that pay a living wage   For homeless men and women dealing with long-term mental illness and addiction, these barriers are even more difficult to overcome. Though the majority of KCRM’s current residents have completed high school, years of substance or alcohol abuse and life on the streets have eroded their social skills, their ability to follow routine, accept authority or practice good study habits. Almost 100 percent of residents need to hone skills in one or more of these areas before seeking and keeping employment paying a livable wage. KCRM’s staff is dedicated to our mission to “offer freedom and hope to the poor and homeless, empowering them to reach their full potential.”  We offer the following learning and growth opportunities through our Learning Center, open to residents at the Men’s Center and Women’s Center. Regularly scheduled life skills classes such as money management, healthy relationships, relapse prevention, general housekeeping, etc. GED preparation KCRM Academy: an onsite homeschool through which residents receive a Missouri State diploma Computer literacy Career guidance Assistance enrolling in colleges and technical schools Accessing tuition assistance Job readiness   Though the Learning Center enjoys a suite of rooms at our Men’s Center, currently space for this program is very limited at the KCRM Women’s Center.  To remedy this, KCRM plans to renovate the ground floor of an empty building on the Women’s Center campus to house a new Learning Center, Fitness Center, offices and multipurpose room. Project Costs:  Renovation (rest rooms, stairwell, exterior door)  $243,491  Fire alarm system $23,952  Contingency (10 percent) $26,744  Total $294,187   A local foundation has issued this challenge to KCRM: Raise 50 percent or $147,093.50 and the foundation will complete the funding with a gift of $147,093.50. As of January 1, 2017, we are just $17,000 from reaching our goal! Once we have received the foundation’s gift, we will begin renovations with the hope of completing the new Learning Center in Summer 2017. Each gift you make toward the challenge will be matched dollar for dollar by the foundation. For more information about the expansion of KCRM’s Learning Center or how help fund it, contact Julie Larocco, chief development officer, at jlarocco@kcrm.org or 816-421-7643, ext. 141.

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Giving Securely to KCRM

We take your online security seriously. We’ve asked Doug McGlashan, whose company ensures the safety of online gifts made at kcrm.org, to explain how each donation transaction is kept secure. Here are his comments: With regards the issue of security we use industry standard measures which include:   • SiteSafe validation which includes 128-bit encypted information which ensures the donor’s personal data is protected   • PCI DSS compliance. Also, here is some specific information about the security of recurring donations that we process: For recurring donations we only keep tokenized information for recurring accounts that are current. We do not keep tokens of the data for any one time transactions and data is destroyed when a recurring transaction is ended or declined the first time. In order to be PCI compliant the data has to be hashed and encrypted in such a way that it is useless outside of special programs. The token we keep only works with our account through processing the rest of the information with Authorize.Net. There is  no way to re-combine, extract and transfer that information that is PCI compliant.  PCI laws are very strict and PCI compliance is difficult to maintain without applying such measures. If you have any questions about giving to KCRM, please contact Julie Larocco at jlarocco@kcrm.org. Thank you!

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Working for Excellence

Raising the Bar — Fueling the Future A note from Joe Colaizzi, executive director: My first year at KCRM back in 1985 was an exciting one because I was charged with a task to do something I loved — helping the Mission grow toward excellence.  In those early days, we focused on raising the bar in our programs and services for homeless men … in the food we prepared … in our administrative duties … in the staff we hired … and in our expectations for the men who came to us for help.    Now, 30 years later, the KCRM staff still focuses on raising the bar in all we do.  We’ve put together this little video (below) with a few examples of how we continue to strive for excellence today and in the future.   KCRM is what it is today because we know we are accountable to the God we worship, to our donors and volunteers who give so sacrificially, and to the homeless men and women who count on us each and every day.   As we enter a time of planning for what comes next at KCRM, we can assure you it will be done thoughtfully and prayerfully.  Because that’s the way we do things at Kansas City Rescue Mission.  Thanks for watching and God bless you.

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Memberships and Certifications

KCRM’s Memberships and Certifications It’s important to know you can trust Kansas City Rescue Mission to use your compassionate gifts with integrity and transparency. These memberships and awards represent KCRM’s efforts to best serve our clients and earn your confidence. Association of Gospel Rescue Missions, Certified KCRM is recognized by the AGRM as a model of effective programming and operations, exemplifying the best of what rescue ministries can be in their service to God and to those in need. Learn more here. Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, Accredited Accreditation in ECFA is an important public statement of this ministry’s resolve to conduct and disclose its activities in the most responsible manner possible. KCRM is a member in good standing. Learn more here. Charity Navigator, 4-Star Member KCRM is rated by Charity Navigator as an exceptional organization, exceeding industry standards and outperforming most charities in its cause. Learn more here. Greater Kansas City Community Foundation Registry KCRM is a registered nonprofit with GKCCF, providing total transparency and a profile of its programs and services, updated and reviewed annually. Learn more here. Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, Member Visit kcchamber.com Better Business Bureau of KC, Member in Good Standing

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