Local group SAVE Inc. works to turn rundown bar into new space to help Kansas City homeless

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A group is working to fix an old, rundown building to help Kansas City homeless who are in need of life-saving treatment.

SAVE Inc. is a local program that provides housing to those with disabilities who have little to no income.

“Folks are living under bridges with cancer or diabetes, or even pneumonia. Things that you and I could manage, but if you’re homeless or unstably housed, it’s really difficult to manage those basic disabilities,” Sarah Gardner, Director of Development and Operations at SAVE Inc., said.

The organization helped people in the Kansas City area, like David Rockenbach.

“If I’d been on the streets much longer, I don’t think I would’ve made it,” Rockenbach said.

About a year ago, Rockenbach was near death. After losing his job at Sprint and getting a divorce, he ended up homeless in a Kansas City park.

Rockenbach suffers from lupus, and he couldn’t get the treatment he needed to survive.

“The hospital wouldn’t actually do the surgery until they found out I had a place to go and recover,” he said.

He eventually found out about SAVE Inc. The organization provided him with an apartment, rent free.

The organization also hopes to transform an old rundown bar into a place where more homeless in KC can get help. SAVE Inc. will use the extra space to provide cooking classes and budgeting classes for its clients.

“We can’t serve these 700 folks who are at risk right now if we don’t have new space,” Gardner said. “It’s just a great weight to see that comes off people’s shoulders when they have housing when someone gives them a chance to make their life better.

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