Dear Friends & Family,
On March 17, 2016 Habitaciones Para Latinos Association was officially recognized and registered with the United States Internal Revenue Service & the State of Kansas as a 501(C)3 charitable organization.
As I approach the anniversary of our second full year in service and look forward to many more productive years reaching out to helping people who are hurting I am reminded of the reason HPLA was created.
It was created to help low income Latinos with minor home repair when resources were not readily available to keep their “Habitaciones/Casas” in a safe and secure condition. Specifically, in the Kansas City Metropolitan area.
As I began to dig into how to reach these families I was directed to churches, neighborhood associations, civic organization, public support facilities of county government & other charities who helped in this same area. It gave me pause to reflect on my own life and started attending our church faithfully. Part of our mission statement at Harvest Ridge Covenant Church is to help those who are hurting. How convenient that God lead us there as this is also a large part of HPLA’s mission.
One organization in particular gave me the best council and continues to test my dedication to our cause. “Livable Neighborhood” task force https://www.facebook.com/livableneighborhoods/
This group is made up of many organizations both private and public. It is connected with the Unified Government of Kansas City Kansas and Wyandotte County. Through the “Code Violations Department” Livable Neighborhood is exposed to the citations which are handed out by its officers.
When violations are not cleared and follow up visits nets little or no improvement towards a positive result, homeowners are contacted to determine if an extension is needed or if financial resources will not be available to fix the violation. Weeds and over growth is a violation which catches inspectors eyes as they drive around their assigned territory within the county. But, unpainted homes, broken fences, windows, doors, roofs covered in plastic are always a giveaway to problems and of course do not meet the laws a homeowner must follow if they are to reside in the home.
Having said all this HPLA has had to re-address whom we help. As an example: Many Latinos live in rentals and those violations are directed to the home or building owner. Thus we only deal with low income homeowners who live in their home and we do not support renters or the landlords that rent out property. We have paid some utility bills or brought food to some renter families but this is not our mission. Please refer to http://www.habitacionesparalatinos.org for more detail.
(Let it be known that low income families is based on income schedules published by HUD (The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development))
A second thing that has happened is that demographic changes in Kansas City calls for the need to help all cultures as the blight we are trying to reduce plus the home owner we are trying to keep in their own home, as long as possible, are made up of fewer Latinos and more of all other cultures. Thus the Bi-laws have been updated and HPLA mandated to not show favoritism. I am good with the change mostly because evidence suggest that the Latino community has become more self-sufficient and willing to take care of their own. A great testimony.
To cut to the chase in this story; the time has come to establish a board of directors who can help and is willing to help HPLA move to the next level and use their influence to promote the future success of HPLA.
I am writing to you to invite you to fill a position. Your acceptance to serve does not mean you will be chosen to the board as I optimistically anticipate many of you will accept this invitation. Interest and input from you may be our greatest asset. But those most willing and able to help will be chosen and term limits established so all can serve.
The most needed position to date is an Executive Director to assist in scheduling & fulfilling all the obligations HPLA incurs. Getting the work done. Finding donors for the supplies and partnering with other organizations.
We also need to have a broad list of ideas for HPLA to consider doing to help more people as well as an oversight committee which I hope everyone of you would volunteer for. A large group to point out current situations and needs around the area would be fantastic.
Needless to say the organization would need an accountant, attorney, construction foreman, a minister etc. best case. As chairmen I will continue to physically complete construction projects and search for funding. We have been blessed with a steady stream of donations and D&R Services, Inc. continues to donate a large majority of its profit from local handyman projects. http://www.handyman24-7KCK.com
My family in Texas, who has plenty of folks to help there has made one of the largest donations ever received from that clan in the past few days. God Bless You my Familia.
Please feel free to contact me by phone for further information or acceptance of this opportunity. My prayer is to grow another organization which makes a visible impact on improving neighborhoods in blight and helping low income fellow Americans who are hurting through no fault of their own.
I know I will have missed someone that really wants to help so I am publishing this on Facebook to reach as many of you as possible. I have lost many email address due to computer issues. I am so sorry.
Robert “Bob” Flores
Habitaciones Para Latinos Assn.
6354 Stevenson street
Shawnee, Kansas 66218
A (501 C 3 Charity)