The reStart Housing at 7540 Washington in the Waldo neighborhood of Kansas City provides permanent housing and support services for young adults aging out of foster care, specifically those with mental health diagnoses. The project, housing 14 one-bedroom apartments, helps these young adults move toward independence and self-sufficiency, preemptively stopping homelessness before it happens. Over 800 individuals age out of foster care each year within Jackson County. Good quality housing is critical to allow young persons who have not had a stable home throughout their formative years, to start their adult life on the right foot. reStart Housing is designed to provide this stable, permanent place. Those living here will be able to feel safe and secure, thereby allowing them to go out into the community and flourish. Each resident in the 7540 Washington Apartments seeks educational, work and volunteer opportunities.
The apartments themselves at reStart promote a strong sense of community for their residents. The building’s plan and section unfold as a series of intimate, open-air courtyards filled with sunlight that bring natural light deep into the center of the complex and allow cross breeze ventilation into each of the dwellings. Each apartment was designed as a series of spaces providing varying levels of privacy or opportunities for social interaction, from bedroom to living room to the front porch area in the open air courtyard. Being a vital part of the neighborhood was vital to the project. A separate community building is attached to the main residential building by a common roof; the community building provides office space for management as well as a community room for residents and customized space for meeting or events, open to residents as well as members of the community.
The reStart Housing development is the result of more than five years of research, design, community engagement and governmental cooperation. The project represents the design of an apartment complex that promotes the holisitic development of young adults, creating an avenue for each resident to join our communities with support and dignity
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