Choice Neighborhood Initiative
What is it?
The Choice Neighborhood Initiative (CNI) is a project-based grant authorized by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development to The Housing Authority of Kansas City (HAKC). The CNI focuses on the replacement of a HAKC public housing development in Kansas City, Missouri (Chouteau Courts) through a People, Housing, and Neighborhood Strategy referred to as the Paseo Gateway Neighborhood Transformation Plan.
How does it work?
The Choice Neighborhood Initiative is a comprehensive approach to Neighborhood Transformation based on three core goals:
Housing. Revitalize severely distressed public and/or assisted housing
People. Support positive outcomes for residents’ health, safety, employment, mobility, and education.
Neighborhood. Transform distressed neighborhoods into viable, mixed-income neighborhoods with access to services, public assets, and amenities
Parent Support and Out of School Time Outreach Event.
United Way sponsored education enrollment event.
Mattie Rhodes Arts Center after school art class at 555 Olive Center.
What role does United Way play?
United Way of Greater Kansas City (UWGKC) partners with the HAKC as the lead People Strategy entity. UWGKC leads efforts to create, sustain and support positive outcomes in Health, Education and Employment for target households that opt-in to services offered through the Choice Neighborhood Initiative.
UWGKC provides the leadership and oversight of the Choice Neighborhood Initiative’s Education and Employment strategies through the support of an Education Navigator and an Employment Navigator. The Navigators work exclusively with CNI residents alongside HAKC Case Management staff within its Resident Services Department. UWGKC’s Education Navigator assists families with school-aged children with enrollment, educational advocacy and academic supports and the Employment Navigator through an operational agreement with the Full Employment Council, Inc. (the leading Greater Kansas City Area workforce and training provider) to provide job and occupational skills training opportunities.
555 Olive Center
UWGKC operates a hub of human service programs provided by community partners collaboratively operating at its 555 Olive Center. Located on the campus of the Northeast Community Center in the Pendleton Heights Neighborhood through the Choice Neighborhood Initiative.
The 555 Olive Center also offers a variety of services for all ages through partners including Jewish Vocational Services, Happy Bottoms, Start at Zero, Mattie Rhodes Arts Center, Global FC and the Kansas City Public Library. The United Way also operates a Success By 6 Center at the facility providing parent education workshops, toy and academic resources for participants.