The Kitchen has been providing housing, food, and medical services since 1983. As grants and community support became available, The Kitchen purchased and remodeled numerous properties on Commercial Street and in Springfield, Missouri. We have used MHTF, HOME, CDBG, AHP, AHAP, private grants, and donations to provide housing and services to the poor. With the award of a HUD McKinney grant for Supportive Services in 1994 (renewed annually), The Kitchen has been able to provide case management, counseling, child care, and job counseling for all willing participants coming to the Missouri Hotel for shelter. Additional services are provided through collaboration with other agencies in the community.
In 1985 The Kitchen took over the management of an old hotel on Commercial Street. The Ollis Building (immediately to the west of the hotel) was acquired in 1985 and renovated to provide a free medical clinic and GED classroom for the poor. Another major project completed in 1990 was the renovation of a 9,000 square foot building to the south of the Missouri Hotel; The Kitchen Annex was renovated and equipped through donations of money, time, labor and equipment. The facility now houses the Emergency Assistance Program, food warehouse, and Family Nurturing Center.
In 1993 several buildings to the east of the hotel were renovated. These buildings house Maggie’s Boutique, a distribution and receiving center for donated clothing and household items; the Fresh Start Program through which homeless and low income persons from the community are assisted with appliances, furniture, and household items; Bill’s Place, a drop-in center for homeless mentally ill street people, is staffed by counselors from Burrell Behavioral Health and Sigma House for crisis intervention.
In 1993 The Kitchen also acquired the Morton building through a donation from a generous benefactor. This building provided for expansion of the medical clinic and establishment of a free dental clinic. The Morton building also houses The Kitchen’s administrative services. Presently, The Kitchen is working on an extensive remodel of the Clinic.
The old Eagles building was renovated for transitional housing in 1993. In 1994 rehabilitation of a second building for transitional housing was completed (this was the former clinic building purchased in 1985). The KIND Place (Kitchen Institute for Nurturing Development) has ten apartments, and the Ollis building has eight apartments.
In 1987 the original St. John’s Hospital building (located one mile from the Missouri Hotel) was acquired from the Assemblies of God and converted into supportive housing for low income elderly and disabled persons. Originally there were seventy-one rooms; through renovation of an unoccupied part of the third floor completed in May 1998, twenty-three rooms were added. A major rehabilitation of the whole building has just been completed and expands the capacity to 104 rooms.
In 1997 Katie’s Kitchen was opened. This was a former bar that The Kitchen renovated into a restaurant for the public and a training center for homeless people to prepare for food service jobs. Katie’s Kitchen was closed due to lack of operating funds in 2004.
In October 2002 The Kitchen received funding from Health and Human Services to establish a transitional housing program for up to 20 homeless youth ages 16-21. Since May of 2005, the Ollis building has become home to these homeless youth.
In collaboration with Sigma House Inc. and with a $500,000 HUD Supportive Housing Program grant, The Kitchen completed construction in 2003 of a 12-unit apartment complex for homeless male chronic alcoholics and addicts. The first tenants took up residence in October 2003, and the complex is now fully occupied.