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)
The generosity of Americans is very evident by the sales of merchandise advertised for giving to those you love. I was surprised at advertisements and news stories this season suggesting that Americans give to themselves first. How funny. I am tossed as to how to process this attitude. It may be the best trend ever for people to do. Followed by giving your loved one’s money; so they can buy what they truly want, right? It takes all the mystery out of what you think someone really wants for a gift.
Another point of view however is how do you show people what you truly need to have as a gift. An individual wearing the same T-Shirt every day might suggest they need a new T-Shirt. Instead of suggesting that an individual loves a T-Shirt so much they are willing to wash and dry it every night to be able to ear it every day. I think which ever is the case, it is why we are all terrible at reading peoples minds. We may be worst at guessing what makes them happy.
The one saying that “wealth does not bring happiness” has not talked to enough to really wealthy people. By the same thinking to suggest someone has to be “miserable in their poverty” has not talked to enough people with no money. Stories of drug addicted people living super happy for years as long as the next dose comes on time are true. Some homeless people want to be left alone and are happy with their life.
However, there are unmistakable evidences of people in need even though they may be to proud to admit it. That is where sincere & honest charity comes into play.
In the playhouse of my mind and in what I hope turns into an intelligent discussion today, is to question, do we really know what anyone is thinking ever? I have a dear person whom I love with all my heart but all to often I hear,”that is not what I meant”.
( A teacher at Kansas City Kansas Community College taught English and in the curriculum talked to us in English from centuries ago. I did not understand one word). It has gotten that bad understanding some of the conversations today. The following is an example: From Mentalfloss.com
The team over at Merriam-Webster is responsible for keeping a vigilant eye on shifting language trends. They’ve made some pretty bold moves recently (like declaring that a hot dog is a sandwich). Now, they’re adding over 1000 new words to the dictionary, some of which are sure to raise a few eyebrows. As you might expect, the latest batch features plenty of internet-bred slang terms. If you’ve ever been at a loss when someone tells you they just finished binge-watching their favorite NSFW mumblecore films, Merriam-Webster can now help you translate. The new entries also include words related to fields like sports, medicine, and politics. For a sample of the most recent additions to the dictionary, refer to the listicle below:
1. AIRBALL (V.) To completely miss the basket, rim, and backboard with a shot: to shoot an air ball.
2. BINGE-WATCH (V.) To watch many or all episodes of (a TV series) in rapid succession.
3. BOKEH (N.) The blurred quality or effect seen in the out-of-focus portion of a photograph taken with a narrow depth of field.
4. CONLANG (N.) An invented language.
5. ELDERFLOWER (N.) The flower of an elderberry (such as Sambucus nigra) used especially in making wines, liqueurs, and teas.
6. FACE-PALM (V.) To cover one’s face with the hand as an expression of embarrassment.
7. FAST FASHION (N.) An approach to the design, creation, and marketing of clothing fashions that emphasizes making fashion trends quickly and cheaply available to consumers.
8. FIRST WORLD PROBLEM (N.) A usually minor or trivial problem or annoyance experienced by people in relatively affluent or privileged circumstances especially as contrasted with problems of greater social significance facing people in poor and underdeveloped parts of the world.
9. FOOD INSECURE (ADJ.) Unable to consistently access or afford adequate food.
10. GHOST (V.) To abruptly cut off all contact with (someone, such as a former romantic partner) by no longer accepting or responding to phone calls, instant messages, etc.
11. GINGER (N.) A person with red hair.
12. HUMBLEBRAG (V.) To make a seemingly modest, self-critical, or casual statement or reference that is meant to draw attention to one’s admirable or impressive qualities or achievements.
13. LISTICLE (N.) An article consisting of a series of items presented as a list.
14. MICROAGGRESSION (N.) A comment or action that subtly and often unconsciously or unintentionally expresses a prejudiced attitude toward a member of a marginalized group (such as a racial minority).
15. MICROBIOME (N.) A community of microorganisms (such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses) that inhabit a particular environment and especially the collection of microorganisms living in or on the human body.
16. MUMBLECORE (N.) A genre of narrative film focusing primarily on the intimate lives of young characters and featuring scenes of ample dialogue and minimal action.
17. NSFW (ABBR.)Not safe for work; not suitable for work—used to warn someone that a website, email attachment, etc., is not suitable for viewing at most places of employment.
18. PAREIDOLIA (N.)The tendency to perceive a specific, often meaningful image in a random or ambiguous visual pattern.
19. PHOTOBOMB (V.)To move into the frame of a photograph as it is being taken as a joke or prank.
20. PING (N.)A signal sent from one computer to another across a network for usually diagnostic purposes (as to determine network speed or the status of the target computer).
21. PROSOPAGNOSIA (N.) An inability to recognize faces.
22. SAFE SPACE (N.)
A place (as on a college campus) intended to be free of bias, conflict, criticism, or potentially threatening actions, ideas, or conversations.
23. SEUSSIAN (ADJ.) Of, relating to, or suggestive of the works of Dr. Seuss.
24. SIDE-EYE (N.) A sidelong glance or gaze especially when expressing scorn, suspicion, disapproval, or veiled curiosity.
25. TRAIN WRECK (N.) An utter disaster or mess: a disastrous calamity or source of trouble.
26. TRUTHER (N.) One who believes that the truth about an important subject or event is being concealed from the public by a powerful conspiracy.
27. WAYBACK (N.) The area in the back of a van, station wagon, or SUV.
28. WEAK SAUCE (N.) Something inferior, ineffective, or unimpressive: something weak.
29. WOO-WOO (ADJ.) Dubiously or outlandishly mystical, supernatural, or unscientific.
30. YOWZA (INTERJ.) Used to express surprise or amazement.
So what does all this have to do with anything. You decide next time you try to express yourself and find yourself being bombarded by people who think they can read your mind and are totally up to date with today’s hidden language, political correctness & tell you they know exactly what you just said. And look to see if their environment suggests they are truly in need of help but don’t know how to ask for it.
God Bless You & Have a Happy New Year
As we complete the celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month this September we dive right into October 2017 with tremendous heartache and sadness. The world is getting more diverse and the mindset of the population more ambiguous. The division and the strife between the classes grows bigger.
At Habitaciones Para Latinos Association we don’t take sides, we don’t discriminate, we don’t ask why?
Habitaciones Para Latinos Association is a service organization with one mission in mind. To help those who are hurting that do not have the means to recover and be self sufficient without outside help. We do this in our part of the world by providing FREE home repair support to qualifying home owners.
The tragic result of the hurricanes in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and Islands in the Caribbean has left folks not only homeless but without basic physiological resources such as food and water. Groups from all over the world are providing support in an-all out effort to save lives and bring relief to those suffering.
Without detracting from the current dire situation please know that we have folks experiencing these kinds of problems everyday in our area. We thank God that our problem is to only locate and verify these people but, once located they are guaranteed shelter, food & water. Seldom are we at a place where resources can’t be delivered where they are needed. The pain however, is still huge if maybe for a shorter period of time. Waiting for a first responders to arrive while suffering from a collapsed lung or a broke arm while trapped in a vehicle or tons of concrete seems like an eternity.
In our business it maybe no hot water, stopped up sewer or gray water lines. A smoke detector that continuously beeps begging for a new battery but overseeing an occupant that is disabled and unable to make the sound stop. A failed air conditioner or a failed furnace in the dead of winter. We help those who are hurting one client at a time and we don’t have the resources or the man power to stop the pain fast enough.
Habitaciones Para Latinos is closing in on its second year of existence and our photo galley reflects some of the projects we have been involved in. You can also find us on faceBook. None of what we do would be possible without the support of our volunteers and the donations received. I continue to remind everyone every time I can that no salaries or overhead is paid to HPLA volunteers or staff.
Please use the donate button to contribute now. It will go to directly benefit those people that are hurting just a little bit faster. I know you will be blessed ten-fold for doing so. Happy Halloween, Felice Dia de Los Muertos… God Bless You & God Bless America
If I can take you back with me to those days in elementary school when the list of schools supplies required for say 1st, 2nd, 3rd grade students seemed so simple and inexpensive. Some number two pencils and the BIG CHIEF tablet. A pencil sharpener in every class room.
But as an example of just a partial list of todays needs we begin with a required Backpack.(No wheels)
#2 Pencils, non-mechanical
12 pocket expandable file folder
24 ct. crayons
Yellow and Orange double-pocket paper folder with center brads
Classic Colors washable thick markers
Colored pencils 8 pack
Black dry erase markers
Spiral Notebooks, Wide Rule (red, blue, green, yellow)
Plastic pocket folder
Plastic school box without handles
Post It Notes 3″ x 3″
Ear buds or Headphones
Not only is the number of items required to be supplied by the student increased the cost of each item has sky rocketed.
At HPLA (Habitaciones Para Latinos Association) we are dedicated to helping those who are hurting with minor home repair cost. This week an above normal storm developed right over the our city and dumped 6-10 inches of rain in two to three hours. Record floods insured and devastating damage resulted. folks were left homeless other lost all belongings. School supplies acquired in advance and in preparation gone.
So we helped put up power lines, we help patch roofs, we help repair major damage and we worked long hours.
Are things improving, are folks lives coming back together? Yes, but at a tremendous cost.
It is our hope that those of you reading this post and have been able to avoid loss help us to help others by contributing to our work. The donate button on this site allows you to securely send us replacement funds so we can keep helping with our everyday mission which allows to do our work everyday.
Thank you and may God Bless You for all you do.
Dear friends and followers of HPLA. I cannot begin to express the joy and happiness our charity has experienced these past few weeks. To say GOD has been good is an understatement. We all know that GOD works through his followers, his people and his church. If I am considered a pawn for GOD well that’s ok with me. I know he can do anything without me. But I am privileged to have been involved in his work and I continue to expose myself to his guidance. I have seen hurting people helped and Christians growing in their faith.
The “Dog Days” of summer increase the chances of those of us who work out in the heat, with heat exhaustion and dehydration but it is nothing compared to those who are unable to afford the cost of electricity for air conditioning or in some cases even a fan. Are there programs to help with the high cost of summer electric bills, yes. BUT, in the case of Kansas City Kansas and specifically BPU who supplies water, gas, electricity & trash, all the bill must be paid in full or all the services are discontinued. An example was a man who had received help to pay his electric bill and had credit available for paying the current month and the next month but still had his service disconnected. He was in arrears on the remaining part of his bill to BPU. HPLA was able to pay the remaining balance and get electricity flowing again. But, this policy needs to change. If it is unethical to stop flowing electricity due to hardship than no other exception should be enforced. Water supply should follow the same logic.
But there is plenty of good news too. I want to take this opportunity to say “thank you” to one person who has been such an inspiration and helper/volunteer these past few weeks. I hope God will shower him with everything necessary to make his life prosperous & blessed. I will call him Fran. I know he does not want to be singled out for all he does but he does so much. Fortunately I have had the privilege of stealing some of his time and together we have created, mended and installed features that make life better for people who are hurting. I hope GOD will continue to bring us together for his glory and Fran & I can work together some more.
As we celebrate our Nations Birthday, July 4th, 2017. I pray for God’s blessing to be on our Pastors & our Churches. To be with our Congressmen/Congresswomen. To be with our First Responders, To be with our Service Men & Women. To be with our Entire Nation. But most of all Lord please, please be with all those folks who sacrifice every day to help people that are in desperate need of help, sometimes, through no fault of their own. We also continue to pray for peace and the coming together of all Humanity around the world. For it’s in Christ name we pray. Amen
STOP the madness. There is an old saying “the first liar has no chance”. America please note. What was considered an out right lie is now known, by many euphemisms but, the fact remains that “Fact Check” is a necessary evil today and a lie is still a lie. (a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive; an intentional untruth; a falsehood. … something intended or serving to convey a false impression). So the lesson is don’t believe anything you hear until you verify it. That goes 10 fold for some charities. Charities are a good way to prey on people and it happens more today than maybe ever?? There are still snake oil sales folks.
On a positive note, it has been a tremendous 2017 for HPLA and the work we carry on to fulfill our mission is exhilarating. For the founder of Habitaciones Para Latinos Association, it was a calling from God. It continues to be a heart felt conviction to do good and follow the “Golden Rule”. It is the basic love of fellow man and a desire to help those who are hurting among all our volunteers.
The pain for those who are hurting is relative. A twisted ankle a sore back and you may need serious and long term help. But, lets face it, no one wants to pay someone to cut a patch of grass that you can do in 30 minutes or to put in a load of laundry. But if you can’t do it you have to call in a favor, ask outright for help or just pay. It appears however, that the folks who have the least amount of financial resources are the first to pay rather than to ask a favor.
To that point HPLA is connected to churches, charities and fraternal organizations who call on us to approach some people who are honest sincere and dedicated but will not ask for help. Sometimes lying about their status or their pain. However, a summons from the code enforcement office to fix an issue that goes un-fixed is a first alarm. No response to phone calls for action is another alarm. Many truly needy people will not speak out. At HPLA we insure the property is safe and some effort is being made to clear a summons. If we see the issue is a lack of resources we take over the project and fix what’s broken. There is no cost to the homeowner just a willingness to accept our charity. HPLA is only limited by our own availability of resources. That is where your donations come into play dear friends.
We continue to insure you, our readers & our donors, that all donations from individuals are used strictly to benefit the needy client. No donation is used for overhead or to perpetuate the association. (Aside: we are actively looking for corporate sponsors who would donate or grant money for a full time director). Operating a charity is a full time job and most volunteers work full time and do not have enough time to do all that is required to perpetuate the charity. A full time director can do that and also submit applications in a timely manner so as to qualify HPLA for corporate support and individual donations. Again individual donations go directly to support the needy.
These individuals & families have names and faces. We cannot show them tied to a tree with a log chain and no food and water but I can tell you no one should be allowed to live in some of the conditions we see.
One man recently told me, “you cannot help a homeless individual if that individual does not want to be helped”. Some folks live in horrible conditions and are happy. We try to be sure they are not creating an environment where they are a danger to themselves or the community and then we walk away. However, they are not forgotten.
As a volunteer agency HPLA is recognized by the Neighborhood Resource Center of Wyandotte County Kansas and the Shepard Centers of Wyandotte County. We are joined by hundreds of other organizations to provide services to these folks. A great electronic conduit for communication has been established and follow up for those folks is ongoing. City and County leaders are kept in the loop and attend a meeting once a month to compare notes. National Organizations like Habitat for Humanity & Christmas in October are represented and pick out certain homes to rebuild annually but offer little on a daily on-going bases like HPLA. We work at grassroots level and on a broad set of issues not offered by many organizations. We ask for your support. Please use the donate icon and be assured PayPal will not disappoint you in the handling of your gifts safely & securely.
Thank you for reading our messages and may God Bless You abundantly.
Habitaciones Para Latinos Association
Let us tell you a quick story about this person. We will call her Ms. Owens. She is a real person who has worked hard all her life and is still working hard by volunteering in a women’s shelter and participating on other activities important to her. All this work is being done to help people who, through no fault of their own, have fallen on hard times. In some cases many are here through their own fault. But an unwanted pregnancy does not negate a heart beat & a life. To help these women, who have no support, charities like “women’s shelter” are a GOD sent. More importantly are the volunteers that “man” these shelters. Ms. Owens is one, although disabled.
To cut to the chase HPLA was contacted because Ms. Owens porch was getting rotten right at the front entry. Secondly the concrete stairs leading up to the front door had deteriorated and were slopping. The rise & run of the concrete stairs were not up to code so varied seriously. This created a problem, as getting around on a flat surface was getting difficult for Ms. Owens and climbing slippery and uneven stairs a hazard. The possibility of falling through the porch floor was a reality.
The solution was to re-enforce the floor joist of the porch & bridge the old concrete steps with a wooden deck. Pictures have been added to this post to see the progress of this project and the fantastic engineering that went into providing a stable and safe entryway for this needy but deserving rock of this community.
We need a few more donations to complete this project. So will you please donate a few dollars to help. HPLA has donated all the labor for this project as well as some of the cost for materials. We just need a little help from you for more lumber and screws.
As we approach Easter we are reminded that Jesus died for our sins, arose from the dead and gives us life everlasting by accepting him. We can pay this gift forward, while here on earth, by being a good Samaritan and helping those folks that are hurting and needing a leg up.
We also need to be sure Ms. Owens can keep doing her work. People in need helping people in need. What a great concept.
Please share this work with your friends & family. We desperately need volunteers too. Please call us.
God Bless You.
As this years NCAA college basketball tournaments have narrowed down to the final four it is not surprising to see some teams in the running. What is great is that there are teams in the running that no one could imagine would be here. South Carolina. WHAT???? Oregon Ducks , really? The University of Kansas let a lot of folks down here in Kansas but, there is no doubt that Oregon and South Carolina earned the opportunity to win it all. I love basketball at this stage of the annual competition. It is amazing to start a project and work hard to end up with a successful program or a successful project.
At HPLA we work hard everyday to win. We do that by providing a hand out and leg up up to folks who might not ever have an opportunity to win.
We service low income homeowners who, through “no fault of their own” have become victims of their own environment. Today I saw Yolanda. She bought her own house. Her first. She maintained it as best she could. But the house next door has impinged on her by allowing a tree on their property to grow so big it has damaged her house. That other property has now been abandoned by its owners. She is upside down on her maintenance cost and will lose everything to move. What the “Heck?”. How does this happen? “There is a sucker born every minute.”
A reasonable buyer or reasonable real estate agent representing the seller should have never let this deal go through. The property should have been condemned to start but Yolanda is doomed.
So the tenant (Yolanda) is having to survive due to lack of resources to move forward. Habitaciones Para Latinos Association is trying to help. We are applying band aids to keep the house livable and yet advising the tenet to get out asap. Rain is coming in and the supporting walls are suspect. The foundation is deteriorating. The property is losing value. Any investment in the property is to pour money into a bottomless pit with no chance to recover. What can be done to save bankruptcy. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. Best case is to try and buy time and live in the house. HPLA will patch the roof. We will shore up the foundation and we will advise the client to get out asap. YOUR DONATIONS BUY THESE FOLKS TIME.
Please give. Hit the donate button now. One dollar does amazing things when coupled with a hundred other DONATED dollars.
No donation goes to do anything but help the needy. No overhead is paid for with your donation. Only direct benefits to clients who qualify will benefit from your donation..
March is here and with it comes a peek of spring for a large part of the country. Then there is college basketball, baseball, sunshine & flowers. It is an opportunity to get out and enjoy what God provided us to cultivate. The down side is there are those folks who have reached a point in life where getting around have become a challenge and a burden. Recently HPLA provided a new kitchen faucet for a sweet lady that can hardly move out of her chair much less climb stairs or go shopping. Life for her is the interior of her home and a brief time on her front porch. For her, having a functioning gas, water & electrical system in her home is a must. Secondly, income verses expenses are out of balance and medical expenses continue to increase.
This country has done a tremendous job of caring for the elderly and those born with issues which prevent them from contributing financially for their care. While picking up part of the slack, the generosity of the American people falls short as does the entitlement programs designed to help these folks in need. Charitable organizations are abundant and volunteers have eased the burden considerably to deter bankruptcy for these folks. (Bankruptcy would exacerbate the problem and not solve anything).
A better answer is to keep these folks in their homes as long as possible and help them survive as comfortably as possible. At HPLA (Habitaciones Para Latinos Association) our volunteers contribute hundreds of hours every month to perpetuate this idea. Like any charity, we too need help to survive. Our volunteers cannot afford the cost of the building materials and supplies necessary to provide the fixes for these folks. So we are asking you, the general public, to help. Why is HPLA so worthy of your gifts? The answer is that your gifts go directly to buy supplies and materials and does not go to salaries or operating expenses which HPLA incurs. We work very hard to get grants for that purpose from organizations which receive federal and state funds. We also rely on organizations (i.e. churches, businesses, other charities) to help pick up operational expenses. And we sacrifice personally too. Will you donate one small gift of $10.00.
I pray that you will and pray you will be blessed for it. Happy Spring 2017. Sincerely HPLA