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Northeast Kansas City community rallies around woman to help renovate home

Posted at 3:40 PM, Dec 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-02 21:06:44-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Tina Farber once felt that she had nobody. Buying a house in northeast Kansas City meant bigger things were ahead.

"Freedom," Farber said.

But the house was crumbling around her and is in extreme disrepair. It was condemned, and Farber can't live there anymore.

"My wages aren't very good. I bought what I could when I could," Farber said. "I had people say they're coming over to help and no one ever showed up."

But now, the community is showing up.

"It's emotional," Farber said. "A lot of people care. You don't find that anymore."

Neighbors came together, and Jerusalem Farm, a home-repair organization in the northeast, came on board.

First, they mobilized to replace the roof. Easton Roofing donated labor, and Malarkey Roofing Products and Elite Roofing Supply donated the materials.

"We just love being able to connect with Tina and learn about their stories and goals in life," Jordan Schiele, with Jerusalem Farm, said. "Also, at the same time, we're fixing up these beautiful houses, and yeah, hopefully building a vibrant community."

On Wednesday, crews were shoring up parts of the house and ripping the walls out.

The group is trying to raise funds for plumbing and electrical work so that Farber can return to the house as soon as possible.

Farber currently lives in her truck, and Jerusalem Farm also is working to secure temporary housing.

The house isn't just a place for Tina to live; it's a home where her daughter's legacy can continue to live on.

"In memory. Something to leave her children because they don't have her mom now," Farber said.

Farber's daughter, Krystale Kendall, was killed in a car crash in Gibbon, Nebraska, three years ago. According to crash reports, Kendall was in the passenger seat of a car when the man driving started speeding down a country road and crashed into another car in an intersection.

Kendall was days away from moving to Kansas City to live with Tina. Kendall also inspired an idea that the house would be a haven for women, based off her own past experiences with drug abuse and domestic violence.

"Whether I work with the church or the police department, if they have a woman with children and she needs a place to go and be safe - that's what I want my home to be," Farber said.

Farber has 15 grandchildren that she wants to leave the house to, but her main focus is first finding her daughter's two young boys. She wants to get custody of them so they can eventually live with her.

Despite all her struggles, Farber's sights are set on a bright future and making her daughter proud.

"I know she is because this is something that we were going to do together," Farber said. "And I'm going to finish it for her."