Each January at KHRC, we recall the words and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King as we celebrate his life and his work to provide fair housing for all. He famously said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?’” When we at KHRC read the testimonials from households that have received assistance from the Kansas Emergency Rental Assistance (KERA) program, it helps us understand just how much we are doing for our fellow Kansans.
The KERA program not only unlocks home by preventing families with COVID hardships from being evicted. It allows the residents of these homes to rest, recover, and recharge from their setbacks so they can follow their own life’s work of supporting their communities.
S. Simms shared such an experience with us:
“When my unemployment funds dried up, I was at a loss as to how to stay afloat. I wanted to transition away from the career I had prior to the pandemic; I still wasn’t making money from my first entrepreneurial run. However, I had become involved with my neighborhood improvement association the year before the pandemic started. I saw that they really needed more help and manpower, but were suffering from low participation, burn out, and aging long-term members.
In short, these KERA funds allowed me time to really see that community organizing is something that makes me excited and brings me purpose. When I didn’t have to worry about keeping a roof over my head and the lights on, I could turn my attention to helping my community to address long-standing issues. I am very grateful to the KERA program for giving me the breathing room to follow my own heart and give back.”
When the KERA program offers housing support to one household who pays it forward by improving others’ homes, we’re helping whole communities to recover from the pandemic. What are we doing for others? We’re ensuring Kansans can lay their heads down in a place they call home each night, ready to face the challenges of a new day.
A self-supporting, nonprofit, public corporation, Kansas Housing helps Kansans access the safe, affordable housing they need and the dignity they deserve. KHRC serves as the state’s housing finance agency, administering essential housing and community programs to serve Kansans.