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The Farmer's House grows into 7th space, adds more opportunities for people with developmental disabilities

The Farmers House
Posted at 5:19 AM, Apr 11, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-11 06:45:00-04

NORTH KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Inside the Margaret Nerman Art Studio in North Kansas City, there are farmers.

The Farmer's House recently expanded to its seventh location in the Northland. It is a not-for-profit that offers various programs to people with developmental disabilities. From early work experience to community integration, it has program sites and markets throughout Clay and Platte counties. The Farmer's House has around 300 "farmers" each year also partnering with area schools.

Director of Development Dana Chatlin said they saw a need to grow deeper roots in Kansas City and expand the services offered.

“Our main goal is to help them lead self-determined lives. And they do that by learning skills, and by also experiencing things so they know what they like and what they don't like, and what they want to pursue. And in the end, our goal is to help them find a job in the community," Chatlin said.

Colleen is a newer farmer who has a volunteer job at an animal shelter and a job at a local coffee shop. She said she has learned new skills to help her prepare.

“I’ve been learning money, how to count money," Colleen said. “To get a job, you need to learn that.” 

Inside its art studio and other locations, The Farmer's House plants seeds to learn social and life skills needed to be employed.

Lita works at the same coffee shop as Colleen and has been going to The Farmer's House for multiple years.

"In here is all people who love me," Lita said.

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The Farmers House recently received a grant to grow into Jackson County by partnering with schools there. If a school is interested, it should contact The Farmer's House to start a sponsorship.

“I feel safe here and I know this is always going to be my safe place," Colleen said

Products made at the program sites are sold at various markets. The art made at the studio is sold at the Westwood market.