KANSAS CITY - This year’s holiday will be even more merry and bright for one Kansas City family. James Ponder and Pamela St. John are the recipients of a remodeled home in the Ivanhoe Neighborhood as part of Jackson County’s Constructing Futures home giveaway program.
Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders presented the family with the keys to their new home during a Monday afternoon press conference. “This program is all about changing lives and so many lives are touched by this one home,” he said. “Home for the holidays takes on a whole new meaning on a day like this.”
Constructing Futures does more than simply give homes to families that have struggled to maintain adequate housing. It helps ex-offenders with job training through the Connections to Success program, and it helps the Ivanhoe Neighborhood by transforming blighted houses.
Ponder and St. John will soon be moving into the home along with their two sons and young granddaughter.
This is the sixth home that the county’s Constructing Futures has provided to a needy family. The house is donated by Habitat for Humanity Kansas City. Using funds from its Housing Resource Commission and COMBAT Anti-Drug Tax, the county obtains vacant homes and transforms them with the help of workers provided by Connections to Success and supplies (appliances, etc.) donated by private partners, such as Meyers Brothers Building Company, Lathrop & Gage, ReStart, Clean Energy, Home Depot & Operation Breakthrough. Jackson County Parks + Rec crews provided landscaping for the house.
Morgan Jacobs General Contracting has worked with Constructing Futures on the past several homes. It employs ex-offenders who have paid their debt to society and passed background checks by paying them to work on the rehab projects and training them on the job in skills like brick laying, concrete pouring and carpentry.