Community Impact Award: Newhouse in Kansas City

Apr 17, 2024 | Community, Core Bank, Kansas City

Newhouse in Kansas City was awarded the Core Bank Community Impact Award for the first quarter of 2024 with a gift of $4,000 to support their Childrens Programming including play therapy tools, off-site enrichment activities, updated classroom technology items, and funds to assist specifically with a seasonal camp. In 2022, Newhouse served over 120 children totaling over 12,000 hours of educational support and childcare. The Core Bank Committee’s focus is on where “real impact” can be seen and measured, and Newhouse was selected from among several other applicants who were also very worthy of the award.

“We are incredibly grateful to our friends at Core Bank for their commitment to helping the resilient children and families who call Newhouse their temporary home,” Courtney Thomas, Newhouse President and CEO, said. “Their generous contribution will enable young survivors to heal through therapy, grow through enriching experiences, believe in their worth, and break the generational cycle of abuse. Their investment in these children shows their investment in Kansas City’s bright future.”

Newhouse was Kansas City’s first domestic violence shelter founded in 1971. By 1989, co-founders Rev. Sharon Garfield and Dortha Mae Olsen, with community aid, were able to acquire a four-bedroom shelter to further assist domestic violence survivors in the community. By 1995, with major renovations completed on the four-bedroom house, Newhouse was able to shelter up to thirty women and children per night.

In 2020, Newhouse announced Courtney Thomas as the President and CEO. Courtney has led the newest capital campaign to add an Intake Center onto the current shelter location, to add over forty new beds to the community. Today, Newhouse is a transformative, dynamic, inclusive, safe & trusted collaborative ecosystem for domestic violence survivors and their families.

No domestic violence survivor has the same story or background. One in three women and one in four men have experienced domestic violence in their lifetime. According to their 2022 annual report, Newhouse served four hundred and fifty survivors. Currently in shelter, 70% of survivors are women. Over 60% of survivors have little or no income and 20% have between $1,000.00-$15,000.

Newhouse is a catalyst to true healing and where survivors of domestic violence become empowered to achieve their full potential. More than a domestic violence shelter, Newhouse is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and provides an ecosystem approach of transformative services that lead to safety, self-sufficiency, and whole-person healing.

As a domestic violence shelter, Newhouse does not formally share their exact address and location. They do not have any location boundaries when accepting survivors and their families, but it predominantly serves the Greater Kansas City metro area and surrounding counties. Newhouse is the only domestic violence shelter in the Kansas City urban core. 85% of violent crimes prosecuted in Jackson County are located within a three-mile radius of the shelter.

The Early Learning Center and Children’s Center for Education & Healing are both on-site and free of charge. The Children’s Programming operates 365 days a year. Children living at Newhouse have experienced extreme trauma, and need therapists and advocates trained in trauma-informed modalities who recognize symptoms children exhibit as they recover from trauma. Newhouse’s Childrens Programming facilitates the healing process by providing opportunities for therapeutic play. Children can interact with other children, participate in enriching, hands-on learning, and have educational opportunities they would not otherwise experience.

Newhouse’s Childrens Programming also helps children bridge the “academic slide”; children who witness violence are academically one to two years behind their peers in school. Newhouse’s Childrens Programming allows children to experience the joys of being a child and simply having fun, which alters their brain chemistry and mindset. Newhouse’s objectives are to provide educational enrichment, model healthy interactions, and safe choices, and provide meaningful therapeutic activities that help children process their feelings and heal. The community focus is to improve the lives of children and to disrupt the generational patterns of domestic violence. Newhouse’s goal is to create and provide opportunities for children to help them achieve the most out of their education, promote their well-being, and help children reach their full potential while living a life free from domestic violence.

All Childrens Programming activities at Newhouse are designed to eliminate barriers. Services are offered at no cost and take place on-site with transportation, equipment, and materials provided. Camp sessions are scheduled for the same hours as the regular school days, and support children’s learning while providing a break from the school routine.

If you or anyone you know is experiencing domestic violence, asking for help can be your greatest strength. Go to a safe place and call the Newhouse hotline at 816-471-5800 and find more ways to get help.
You can further support Newhouse by purchasing merchandise, volunteering, or donating your financial gift to go where it is needed most. In addition to monetary donations, you can provide support in several ways, including in-kind gifts.

Newhouse is recognized as a 4-star charity by Charity Navigator, a platinum-level Candid participant demonstrating their commitment to transparency, and a Better Business Bureau accredited charity.

The Core Bank Community Impact Award is granted to an organization every quarter. Read more about past award winners. The Core Bank Community Impact Award reflects a deeper commitment to improving economic prosperity, especially for under-resourced individuals, families, and small businesses. Core Bank is dedicated to building healthier, more resilient, better connected, and inclusive communities throughout our footprint.