Shelter gives single mother fresh start with renovated home

Posted at 3:42 PM, May 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-03 18:39:29-04

As gloomy as the rest of Kansas City was on another wet and rainy Wednesday afternoon, it was a very bright day on Bennington Avenue. That's where Amy Burch has just moved into her newly, renovated home.

"I had to hold the tears back," she said.

The young, single mother was homeless for more than a year, even spent several months on a waiting list to get into Sheffield Place, a women's homeless shelter in Kansas City whose goals enable women like Burch to get back on their feet.

"The women that go through our program and do well and have jobs and are ready to move on, can come and live here for adjusted rent, so they pay about 30 percent of their income," said Kelly Welch, executive director of Sheffield Place. 

"She [Amy] did really well. She came in with, like all of our families, lots of things to work on. And she just knocked them out, decided she was going to be the very best she could be. And she did that," she said. 

Because Burch thrived in their program after joining them more than a year ago, she is being officially rewarded with her home on Bennington, a home Sheffield Place spent nearly $100,000 on in renovations. Burch and her young daughter, Adeline, have already moved in.

"I literally went into the shelter with the goal of a house," said Burch.  "It's the most amazing feeling I've ever felt in my entire life, that the hardest thing I've ever done actually paid off. And that I never have to worry about my daughter not being taken care of."

Burch, who is also now working full time, wants other young mothers to know that if she can do it, so can others. 

"Do not give up. Like, you just can't. Life is way too short," she said.

Sheffield Place has now given away six homes. They hope to have ten given out by the end of the next year.

Click here to learn more about Sheffield Place.