CRC Moves Locations To Improve Neighborhoods


TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)- A community organization wants to tackle Topeka's challenges one neighborhood at a time.

On Monday, the Community Resources Council reopened its offices in the heart of its first assignment.

The Community Resources Council is promoting community action in Topeka and Shawnee County. Their mission is to connect resources in the community through collaboration, advocacy, research and education.

Nancy Johnson heard the complaints from Shawnee County residents.

"What we were hearing was,' I cant get education because it's offered only during the day, I can't get food because I can't drive there, I can't go out to social security because it is all the way across town, I can't get this! I can't get that,'" said Johnson.

So, she and the Community Resources Council asked a question.

"What would happen if we brought a number of those resources into the neighborhood and offered it to the neighborhood?" asked Johnson.

That's what the Community Resources Council did. They moved from their old office at the Downtown Ramada hotel to a new location in the Avondale East building in the HiCrest neighborhood.

The 2010 U.S. Census showed 92% of the children in HiCrest are living in poverty.

"We looked at what neighborhood was probably most in need," said Johnson.

Through a contract with USD 501, CRC plans to bring programs like a job bank, financial literacy, education and health care right to the neighborhood.

They join the Topeka Public Schools Police force as tenants in the former school, addressing another neighborhood concern.

"We provide an aspect of policing, so people feel more safe as they come in to the building," said Chief of Police for Topeka Public Schools, Ron Brown.

Brown and Johnson hope their initiative brings a positive change.

"Hopefully, we empower those that live in this neighborhood," said Brown.

"I truly believe there is hope and I think its up to us," said Johnson.

Johnson said they are working to get staff in place and then will announce their first programs.


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