On a recent summer Sunday, more than 20 volunteers from Johnson County’s Congregation Beth Torah knocked out Sheetrock and hauled carpet and debris from a vacant Kansas City house on a rundown block that a local organization hopes to revitalize.
Tikkun-KC, a nonprofit dedicated to renovating blighted urban properties for deserving homeowners, is focusing on the 3500 block of Indiana Avenue, where only one resident still lives.
Members of the Jewish congregation virtually gutted the three-bedroom, two bath house at 3532 Indiana Ave., so crews can renovate the place for affordable housing. The volunteers filled a huge trash bin and carried out several dozen bags of trash. It’s the first of several renovations that Tikkun-KC plans for the block.
Tikkun-KC, founded by urban developer Larry Myer, tackles houses that otherwise would be demolished, saving taxpayers $10,000 or more per house. Myer believes that providing ownership of affordable housing is the key to turning around urban blight. His organization was named the beneficiary of Beth Torah’s social justice program this year.