Family gets home from county program

COurtest Jackson COunty, MIssouri.

Courtesy Jackson County, Missouri.

A Jackson County family has a new home – one that came with bicycles for its twin five-year old girls, provided job training and helped revitalize a block.

Artis Rollins and his daughters got the keys to their new three-bedroom home yesterday from the Jackson County Constructing Futures program, a county effort to solve three problems: homelessness, the impact of vacant homes on a neighborhood, and the need to provide training for unemployed people.

“A Constructing Futures house does more than give one family a new home,” County Executive Mike Sanders said at a ceremony at the Marlborough Community Center yesterday. “Remodeling a vacant house puts an end to that property being a drain on a neighborhood’s property values—possibly even a haven for criminal activity—and puts it back on the property tax rolls. And, in the process, we can give individuals trying to find good-paying jobs some valuable hands-on experience doing the actual remodeling work.”

Rollins got help from non-profit homeless agency reStart when he was found living in his car. He has full custody of his two daughters and now works two jobs to support them. Sanders said when the country considered deserving families this year, his story stood out.

“It is the story of someone who, despite some life struggles, is committed to making good choices. It is a story of overcoming obstacles, even the extreme obstacle of homelessness. It is a story that shows hard work can pay off, and, ultimately, it is the story of a man who is very dedicated to his daughters.”



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