So, what is this drop-in center project we keep talking about? If you were at the September ICT S.O.S. meeting you got to see the space firsthand. But if you haven't been there yet- here's a sneak peek.
The Good Neighbor Center at 11th & Emporia will soon be transformed into a space for Wichita's homeless and at- risk youth. It doesn't look like much now but with some help and a whole lotta elbow grease, we're going to turn it into something amazing!
Let me give you the tour:
The above photos are of the main room. This will be where the kids have their Thursday night group, meet with Street Outreach staff, work with mentors, and do other activities. The window in the lower photo goes to the kitchen. We would love to see that space transformed into a countertop area with barstools for a sort of "teaching kitchen" use. The general feel and vibe for this room will be reminiscent of a cool coffee shop. Sort of industrial but comfy. Bar height tables and stools, smaller seating areas scattered throughout and personalized touches. Maybe a chalkboard wall or an area for the kids' art to be displayed.
Moving right along on our tour:
Pardon the mess! This room will become a couple of things. See those floor to ceiling shelves? Hello...library! This will also be an art room. The cabinets, counters and sink are perfect for supplies to create masterpieces! And the one thing the kids have really been asking for is what they call a "comfort room". A place of solitude. Peaceful, quiet, and serene. An escape. A place to sit quietly and get lost in a book or have a quiet conversation with a trusted mentor.
Follow me please, to the next space:
This room, I believe, will become office space and storage for Street Outreach. All the clothes, food and supplies will be warehoused here to give out as needed as well as desks and equipment for the Street Outreach team.
Welcome to the kitchen. She's not pretty but she has good bone structure. A little facelift would do wonders. Spruce up the cabinets, sassy new countertops, a fresh coat of paint. The big triple sink is a huge bonus. What a great space to teach kids how to cook for themselves. Or how about a church youth group coming in to bake Christmas cookies to decorate and share? Pizza for a Superbowl party?
Next on our tour:
OK, you'll really have to use your imagination here. One of the huge bonuses of this location is that it has 2 bathrooms...with showers! One for the guys, one for the gals. Mr. Clean will get a workout in here for sure. The building also has laundry facilities. They will have 2 washers, 2 dryers and detergent for a year when they open. How amazing would it be for a kid who has been sleeping on the streets to have a hot shower and a clean set of clothes to put on? Uh-mazing!
One more stop on the tour. Let's step outside:
This is the area behind the building. It is enclosed to the street so the kids will have an outdoor space that is clean & safe. Some outdoor seating would a great addition to the existing basketball court.
So there you have it. This is the "before" of what can and WILL become and amazing "after". And the hope is that this place will be the "before" to some amazing "after" stories for Wichita's kids.
So now I know you're asking HOW do I get involved?? You can start by filling out the form on our Resource Development page. We'll be contacting possible donors & volunteers in October. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org. To see more of these photos, check out our Facebook page. www.facebook.com/ictsos