KDOC housing re-entry initiative in Wyandotte County earns honors at state conference
Valori Sanders, KDOC's contract housing specialist with Kansas Housing Resources Corporation (KHRC), James Glenn of Kim Wilson Housing, Carrie Harris, KDOC Housing Specialist and Dennis Mesa, executive director of KHRC, at the awards ceremony.
The Kansas Housing Conference presented the 2011 Ad Astra Award for Innovation in Housing and Community Development to Kim Wilson Housing, Inc. (KWH) of Kansas City, Kansas. The award honors KWH’S accomplishments with the Wyandotte County Offender Reentry Treatment and Housing Initiative (WORTHI).
WORTHI, a housing reentry program which assists special-needs offenders in Wyandotte County, provides services and programs aimed at facilitating an individual’s successful reintegration into society.
In 2010, the Kansas Department of Corrections received a $289,768 grant under the federal Second Chance Act Prisoner Reentry Intiative to create the WORTHI program. Among those served by WORTHI are offenders diagnosed with mental illness, anti-social personality patterns or developmental disabilities and who also have a history of substance abuse, homelessness, hospitalizations and confinement in jail and prison.
Accepting this year’s award, James Glenn, KWH’s Executive Director, thanked the many partners helping to make WORTHI a success.
“The real work happens with the people we collaborate with, those individuals who assist the clients we house day in and day out,” said Glenn. “Kim Wilson Housing builds the resources, but the people who stay in contact with the client and make sure they maintain their housing is where the hard work really comes in.”
Partnerships created through the WORTHI initiative include the KDOC, Heartland Regional Alcohol & Drug Assessment Center, Wyandotte County Mental Health Center, private landlords and local housing authorities. Nationally, the Corporation for Supportive Housing has provided resources and technical assistance.
Kim Wilson Housing, Inc. provides safe, decent and affordable housing options for individuals with mental illness, individuals at risk of becoming or who are currently homeless, families involved in domestic violence, individuals with chronic health problems, individuals reentering society after institutionalization, veterans and youth that have aged out of foster care system.
Presented annually at the Kansas Housing Conference, the Ad Astra Awards celebrate housing advocates who consistently make a positive impact on their communities and the best practices of affordable housing developers, public housing authorities, community service organizations and others. Other award categories include Special Achievement in Affordable Housing Development - Urban and Rural, Outstanding Housing Advocate, Affordable Housing Trail Blazer and Excellence in Partnership. For information about other 2011 Ad Astra Winners, visit.
AMENDED FROM NEWS RELEASE: Kansas Housing Resource Commission, August 23, 2011