January 25, 2020
One local family has a new ride, thanks to a partnership between Hillcrest Transitional Housing and two Lee’s Summit businesses: Shredd KC and Instant Auto. Andrea Lang, 44, of Independence, Mo., received the donated vehicle on Tuesday, Jan. 21, surrounded by Hillcrest staff and community leaders cheering her on. The donation was one more step towards Lang rebuilding her life after a bout with homelessness.
Five months ago, Lang and her children had unstable living arrangements. This condition is called transitional homelessness, or a situation where an individual is working but still unable to find and maintain housing. This is often due to low wages, high debt to income ratio, or other life circumstances that make self-sufficiency difficult.
After demonstrating a willingness and ability to tackle her challenges, Lang secured a spot in Hillcrest’s flagship program: a 90-day time frame in which clients receive rent- and utility-free housing. In exchange for that housing, clients agree to follow program guidelines, find and maintain full-time employment, attend life skills classes, participate in community living, and strictly adhere to an “all needs, no wants” budget plan while paying down debts and building up savings.
“Hillcrest Transitional Housing is all about equipping our families with the tools and knowledge they need to overcome homelessness and maintain self-sufficiency,” said Tom Lally, President and CEO of Hillcrest. Lally emphasized that Hillcrest’s work requires the support of volunteers, donors, financial supporters, and local businesses like Shredd KC.
Last month, Shredd KC, a fitness center based in Lee’s Summit, held a motivational event that focused on helping attendees improve their mindset, nutrition and fitness. One hundred percent of cash donations and sponsorships from that event were dedicated to purchasing a car for a Hillcrest family. Shredd KC then partnered with Instant Auto to select a vehicle. Hillcrest matched Lang for the donation based on the level of commitment she showed to the Hillcrest program while she was there.
“Andi has overcome many obstacles that have made her stronger over the past year,” said Patricia Rader, Hillcrest Case Manager. “When I told her about the donation, she instantly started to cry and hug me with excitement,” said Rader.
“I hope the Lang family knows that their community is rallying behind them and believes in them,” said Ryan Waters, Owner of Shredd KC. “Hopefully this vehicle eases a burden and promotes them into the next phase of achieving their goals.”
Achieving her goals is something Lang is getting good at. Lang graduated Hillcrest’s program two months ago. Today, she is working full-time, sticking to her budget, and paying her bills. Her children are also reaping the benefits of her hard work. They are thriving in school.
“We are grateful for Shredd KC and Instant Auto’s passion for our mission. Their donation will change the life of this family and contribute toward their long-lasting success and independence,” said Lally.
Hillcrest serves youth, individuals and families throughout the greater Kansas City region through its five residential sites in Johnson and Wyandotte Counties in Kansas and Jackson County in Missouri. Hillcrest also provides rapid re-housing services in Kansas City’s Northland and in Northwest Missouri. Last year, Hillcrest served over 650 adults and youth. To learn more about Hillcrest Transitional Housing, visit www.hillcrestkc.org or call (816) 994-6934.