The name given to us by those we serve, for those we serve.
When Hope Roots, We Rise.
The Early Years
The 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 can be left particularly vulnerable, finding it challenging to overcome educational deficiencies, violence, drugs, or sexual pressures they may confront.
But east siders are resilient, persistent and insistent, ever-reliant on their faith, community and family. East side notables like Buck O'Neil and Alvin Brooks provide prime examples of perseverance within our community, despite various inequities.
Over 20 Years
In 1995, a group of young adults felt called to begin mentoring 30 young people on the east side.
One young man felt particularly led to begin working with the young people on a full-time basis. Chris Jehle 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.
For over 20 years, The Hope Center has planted seeds of hope within our community. What began as a grassroots effort has now positively impacted over 1,500 families, thanks in large part to the private philanthropic support of people like you - because when hope roots, people rise.
With People Like You
Our vision is to "Develop healthy communities where the vulnerable can have hope and flourish."
With partners like you, we will continue to provide holistic care for the body, mind and spirit of children, youth and families on the east side.
The Hope Center launched The Hope Clinic in 2009. It was the only primary care facility within three zip codes at its inception. Hope Leadership Academy, a K - 4 grade charter school, and the neighborhood’s only elementary school, was launched by The Hope Center in 2011. Today, both entities are independent nonprofit organizations continuing to serve the east side.
The Hope Center's growth plans include a Capital Campaign for the renovation of a historic church building on campus. This space will be developed into a Community Events Center which can be utilized to host weddings, family reunions and other gatherings for the benefit of the community. There will also be an extension of our Community Garden located on the corner of Benton & Linwood, an Affordable Housing Initiative and continued property development targeted over the next decade of service to the east side.
Be A Part of This
The East Side
The Hope Center
Individual, Family, and Community Development
Who We Are
Our eyes are focused on the positive assets richly filling the east side of Kansas City. Our hearts are bent toward servant leadership and our minds are set on developing curriculum that will uplift children, youth and families both spiritually and intellectually.
You are invited to invest in the life transformation and leadership development taking place on the east side of Kansas City for the betterment of society.
The Hope Center provides programming for 237 students (K through 12th grade) throughout the year. Through asset-based programming The Hope Center celebrates and honors each of our children, youth and families as we focus on their individual strengths.
For all programs, we quantifiably measure the impact we are having in the lives of our students. Collectively, in 2018-2019 we documented a 9% increase in positive developmental assets for all participants.
THC transitioned from a grassroots movement to an official nonprofit. Chris Jehle, his staff and THC’s board worked diligently to accomplish the mission of reaching our youth and developing world-class leaders.
THC founded Hope Family Care Center, the only primary care facility within three zip codes at that time. 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 as well as spiritual and physical care for our youth.
The staff and volunteers at The Hope Center continue toward the vision of developing healthy communities on Kansas City’s Eastside, where the vulnerable can have hope and flourish.
We are always in need of volunteers. Whether as an individual, corporation or church team, the time you give to our families and youth can make a life-long impact in their lives.