© 2024 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Teens Devote Vacation Time to Urban Repairs

Housing repair recipient George A. Washington with Senior Companion Ruby Adams.
Photos by Steve Bell
Housing repair recipient George A. Washington with Senior Companion Ruby Adams.

By Steve Bell


Kansas City, MO – A group of young people, mostly teens, is involved with an urban restoration project in Kansas City, MO. The project is named for the scripture that inspired it: "Matthew 25."

Jeff Buscher, campus minister at William Jewell College, is supervising the renovations at four homes in the urban core. Buscher heads the Matthew 25 project, aided by cooperation from the city, the Local Investment Corporation and the Community Cadet Club.

Most of the 40 volunteers who are renovating the houses are teenagers from Kansas City, St. Louis, Oklahoma, Texas, Mississippi and Montana. Buscher says the project is a "win-win situation. Folks get their housing improved and students get a great experience serving in neighborhoods."

Matthew 25 is organized like a one-week summer camp. The teens pay $295 apiece to participate, often subsidized by a church organization scholarship. The young crews are supervised and aided by adult volunteers.

The Matthew 25 kids worked on the four houses for one week, finishing most of the work. Then members of the Community Cadet Club took over. That group was organized by Major Gene Bresino, ROTC instructor at Central High School.

Briseno, Buscher and all the volunteers hope the project will grow, attract more kids to live out the scripture verse, that says: "Whenever you do these things for someone overlooked or ignored, that is me. You have done it for me."

KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and award-winning podcasts.
Your donation helps keep nonprofit journalism free and available for everyone.