The name given to us by those we serve, for those we serve.

When Hope Roots, We Rise.


Our Passion

Since the 1960s

Years of urban decay, increasing violence, and unmitigated poverty have taken a toll on the east side of Kansas City, as you can see in its physical neighborhoods and you can read in the headlines about its residents.


But a toll is temporary. And east siders are resilient, persistent, and insistent, ever-reliant on their faith, community, and family.


In the physical midst of that faith-filled perseverance, an agency began in September 1998, growing out of regular meetings of a caring group of adult volunteers and future-focused teenagers who wanted to contribute to their community, their families, and their God. The hope they found in those meetings became the name they gave to their new nonprofit community development agency.

Over 20 Years

Planting Roots

The Hope Center has planted roots on the east side so that east siders are rooted in hope. Because when hope roots, people rise.


What began as a grassroots effort is now two decades and 1,500 families strong, thanks in large part to private philanthropic support.


Taking holistic care of the body, mind, and spirit, The Hope Center launched both The Hope Clinic, the only primary care facility in three zip codes in 2009, and Hope Leadership Academy, a K - 4 charter school, the neighborhood’s only elementary school, in 2011.


Today, both entities are independent nonprofit organizations continuing to serve the east side.

With People Like You 

With partners and donors like you, we can keep an eye on the physical and human assets in the community, a heart on one another, and a head on rising up, intellectually and spiritually through outreach and programs focused on youth, adults, families, and community.


Entering its 21st full year of operations, The Hope Center mission remains, “to develop healthy communities in Kansas City where the vulnerable can have hope and flourish.”


Growth plans ahead include a new playground area to serve the campus and the community. Also included in the plan are the extension of the Community Garden located at Benton & Prospect, continued property development, and targeted over the next decade of service to the east side, an affordable housing initiative and vision to renovate the existing church building into a community gathering and events center.

Be A Part of This

You're invited, through your financial investment, to support these efforts.


Through our work together, the east side will flourish, not flounder. Though the east side may be vulnerable, it will also be victorious. And where we find hope, we will find unlimited potential and possibility.

The East Side

The Hope Center

Individual, Family, and Community Development


Our History

Oak Park, Ivanhoe, Palestine and Santa Fe neighborhoods on Kansas City, Missouri’s east side once made up a very prosperous community that produced leaders like Walt Disney and housed residents of Millionaire’s Row.


Abandonment, high transience, decreasing employment opportunities and substandard housing practices (such as redlining and blockbusting) later deteriorated the area into one of Kansas City’s most underserved communities. 

With a neighborhood left in ruin and its residents searching for hope, children and youth are left particularly vulnerable, often unable to overcome the educational deficiencies, violence, drugs, and sexual pressures they confront daily.

It was into this world a group of young people were called to begin mentoring a group of 30 youth in 1995. One young man felt particularly led to begin working with the youth on a full-time basis. Chris Jhele challenged the group of middle school students to pursue their dream of having a local Christian-centered community center. The kids shoveled driveways, raked leaves and sold candy to earn money for a community center, which they chose to call The Hope Center.


THC was born and transitioned from a grassroots movement to an official nonprofit.  Chris, his staff and THC’s board worked diligently to accomplish the mission of reaching and developing urban youth into world-class leaders.


THC founded Hope Family Care Center, the only primary care facility within three zip codes. In the fall of 2011, Hope Leadership Academy opened its doors as the only elementary school in the neighborhood.


Today, both organizations operate independently but continue to share vision with The Hope Center.


Marvin Daniels, joins as CEO/Executive Director.


THC youth programs extend to five days a week, increasing availability and stability to parents and youth.


THC starts monthly service projects, hosted by teen servant leaders, and an Emerging Leaders internship program.


THC’s programs train high school, middle school, and elementary students from over 15 campuses across the city in servant leadership and character development.


Staff and volunteers provide mentorship, spiritual, and physical care for our youth.


The staff and volunteers at The Hope Center continue toward the vision to develop healthy communities on Kansas City’s Eastside, where the vulnerable can have hope and flourish.

We're always in need of volunteers. Whether as an individual, corporate or church team, the time you give to our families and youth can make a life-long impact in their lives.

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