Member Spotlight – McPherson Housing Coalition

Member Spotlight – McPherson Housing Coalition

Chamber members braved the heat Thursday, August 24th to gather for a Chamber Connection at the Oak Harbor Cottages at the corner of Oak and Skanke, where they learned about the McPherson Housing Coalition (MHC)’s cottages and upcoming McPherson County Housing Conference.

MHC executive director Chris Goodson and director of support services Karolyn Moore shared with the crowd that past experience demonstrated that simply finding housing doesn’t solve the homelessness problem for many families experiencing it. That’s why the Oak Harbor Cottages are part of a project which allows families to live independently in a tiny home for up to 90 days while being wrapped in services including mental, health, legal, educational, and more.

“Basically, this is a homeless shelter,” explained Karolyn. “You have to have kiddos to be in our program. When we bring you here it’s because you’re homeless, and then we figure out – why are you homeless? What services do you need? Once we have that game plan in place then we will move you into permanent housing and continue to work with you. We can work with these families up to two years, depending on the program – help them with rent and utilities. And our goal is that when we finish working with them, they are stable.”

It’s an innovative approach that’s gaining positive attention. Chris and Karolyn were invited to speak at the 2023 Kansas Housing Conference on August 23rd in Overland Park before being presented with a $2 thousand dollar check as the MHC won the Show Off Your Service Award by the Kansas Housing Resource Corp.

But they aren’t about to rest on their laurels. With help from the city, the county, and the McPherson County Community Foundation, MHC purchased the lots across the street from the cottages with plans to break ground on Sutherland Estates in September. When completed, this $1.2M housing development will consist of 12 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom homes for low-income individuals and families. The people who live there will pay no more than 30 percent of their income toward rent and utilities. As long as they are income-qualified, they can live there as long as they want.

MHC will host the ‘No Place Like Home’ McPherson County Housing Conference September 28th from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the McPherson Community Building, 122 E. Marlin. Keynote speakers Deke Clayborn and Jose Davis from HUD will address rural prosperity, and breakout session topics include rural development, credit counseling, department of commerce, law enforcement, fair housing, safe families, a developers workshop and MHC programs. Purchase tickets to the conference here.

To learn more about the McPherson Housing Coalition and its programs, visit its website or Facebook page. Be sure to check out the photos of the August 24th Chamber Connection and our tour of the Oak Harbor Cottages, both completed and under construction.