Our History – Compassion In Action

  • 1983 Palm Sunday, Sister Lorraine begins the Soup Kitchen and served the first meal at St. Agnes Grade School cafeteria.
  • 1983 Missouri Grill on Commercial Street leased to house the Soup Kitchen.
  • 1985 Missouri Hotel leased for homeless shelter; Mobile clinic started with nurses one day a week and doctors one day each month; GED/ABE classes initiated in the Hotel.
  • 1986 Missouri Hotel purchased. First paid employee hired. Food Pantry began in the Hotel.
  • 1987 Medical Clinic moved into Missouri Hotel with doctors twice a week; AG Conference Center purchased to provide low-income housing (Franciscan Villa) for elderly and disabled.
  • 1988 Ollis Building purchased to house Medical Clinic and Burrell behavioral counseling staff.
  • 1989 Maggie’s Boutique opened on southwest corner of Benton and Commercial.
  • 1992 Blain property purchased to house the Family Nurturing Center, Food Warehouse and Food Pantry for the public.
  • 1993 KIND Place dedicated. The Kitchen’s first transitional apartment building; Morton Building donated to house Medical Clinic and administrative offices; Commercial Street property purchased to house Bill’s Place and Fresh Start Program.
  • 1994 Ollis Building dedicated as the second transitional living facility; KIND Place park developed; The Kitchen Foundation, Inc. formed and first volunteer director hired.
  • 1995 Comprehensive case management and counseling system began with a major HUD grant.
  • 1996 Jobs Program initiated; OTC Education Center moved to remodeled basement in KIND Place; Sister of Mercy provide grant to being furniture repair and refinishing program; dental services initiated in the Medical Clinic; indigent drug program begins.
  • 1997 Homeless Prevention outreach services initiated; Katie’s Kitchen opened on the southwest corner of Jefferson and Commercial; first on-site chaplain hired.
  • 1998 Garden on Jefferson; parks on Commercial; opened 24 new units on renovated 3rd floor of the Franciscan Villa; The Kitchen Clinic becomes a United Way Agency.
  • 1999 Franciscan Villa honored by HUD as one of the top 100 facilities in the nation and The Kitchen, Inc. is recognized as a national model of holistic rehabilitative services.
  • 2000 Rare Breed Youth Outreach Center for homeless and at-risk youth opens on Walnut St.; Cottage Industries initiated for residents to showcase and sell arts and crafts.
  • 2001 Grant to formalize Cottage Industries as Joseph’s Workshop, housed on the 2nd floor of the Fresh Start building.
  • 2002 Tobias Meeker named CEO; Talbot House opened on the first floor of the Ollis Building, a treatment center for men overcoming addictions; first child therapist hired through special grant; Sister Lorraine retires; Forest Institute students begin counseling residents; dedication of the Chapel.
  • 2003 20th Anniversary of The Kitchen, Inc; Talbot House moves to Kay Creason Center on Grand; Rare Breed Transitional Living Program opens in Ollis Building; Sigma House Apartments dedication; renovation of Franciscan Villa begins; chiropractic treatment rooms added to the Clinic.
  • 2004 Bill Stalnaker installed as CEO; HUD grant renewed for one year; Katie’s Kitchen and Kay Creason Center sold; Franciscan Villa renovation complete. Medical Clinic receives $1.3 million grant from Missouri Foundation for Health to hire one full-time doctor, support staff, renovate the clinic space and improve technology.
  • 2006 Remodeled Medical Clinic opens.
  • 2007 Lorraine’s opens on the southeast corner of Benton and Commercial Street. Dental Clinic receives grant from MFH and private donations for renovation. Bill Stalnaker retires.
  • 2008 25th Anniversary of The Kitchen, Inc. Rorie Orgeron installed as CEO.
  • 2009 Newly remodeled Dental Clinic open; Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program initiated.
  • 2011 One Door opens to provide an entry point for many of the services and shelters available in Springfield. Council of Churches with The Kitchen, Inc. establishes Safe to Sleep program, an emergency overnight shelter for women.
  • 2012 Fire destroys three rooms on the 2nd floor of the Missouri Hotel. Rare Breed Youth Outreach Center moves to new 10,000 square foot location on north Main Street. Food Pantry closes. Sigma House Apartments are sold.
  • 2013 30th Anniversary of The Kitchen, Inc. Lorraine’s is closed and building is sold. Broke ground at Beacon Village I in July and the first families moved in during the holiday season. Received Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) grant and Home at Last program is started for homeless veterans. The Kitchen, Inc. adopted the Housing First model.
  • 2014 Sister Lorraine Biebel celebrates her 90th birthday. Maggie’s Boutique and Fresh Start programs are closed. The Kitchen no longer provides counseling services.
  • 2015 Began search for capital campaign consulting firm.  January press conference announced the closing of Missouri Hotel.  Missouri Hotel closes in April making way for The Kitchen, Inc. to expand affordable permanent housing in the community.  KIND Place and Ollis Building apartments become emergency shelter for families and single females. Open house for Spero (“hope”) Place in June.  Sister Lorraine Biebel passes away in August.  Ground breaking at Beacon Village II in September.  Medical and Dental clinic closes the end of September.  $4 million Capital Campaign begins for new campus with the selection of the Capital Campaign Executive committee in September.  Rare Breed Youth Housing program expands to 13 apartments.
  • 2016 Beacon Village II ribbon cutting celebration in September. McClernon Villas groundbreaking in September.  Property purchased in October for the new campus on Glenstone/Chestnut Expressway.
  • 2017 The Kitchen, Inc. property near Commercial Street sold in February. The ground breaking for the new campus in June with the shelter being built first. Rare Breed Youth Housing program expands to 24 apartments.
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