For a nonprofit organization that is funded solely through grants and donations, Northland Neighborhoods Inc. is making a big difference in the lives of Gladstone residents. From seniors who need assistance with minor home repairs to neighborhoods that need help organizing Crime Watch programs, NNI has accepted the challenge of achieving their mission to improve the quality of life in the Northland and to empower neighborhoods to build and maintain healthy communities.
Chief Executive Officer Deb Hermann shared that the senior population, like many first-tier suburbs, is struggling to maintain a housing inventory that was built in the 1950s with pensions that haven’t kept up with the costs of living. Many of the homes are well-maintained, but major expenses become an issue. That is when NNI steps in to provide home repairs at little or no cost for income-qualified homeowners.
Since 1996, NNI has invested $8 million in keeping homeowners safe in their homes. In the past three years, they have invested $143,735 repairing homes in Gladstone for low- to moderate-income homeowners. Those repairs include new roofs, air conditioners and furnaces, plumbing repairs and safety repairs like the installation of handrails and grab bars. As the demand for their services continues to grow, NNI strives to provide the very best home repairs with funding available.
NNI also helps with critical home repairs like sewers that collapse, broken waterlines and air conditioner and furnace systems that go out, making it impossible for residents to live in their homes. In these cases, NNI tries to find a grant that allows them to move quickly.
One of these instances came when an elderly man called, saying his air conditioner quit during extreme summer heat. Within one hour, NNI had provided a portable air conditioner and placed it in his residence. Within 48 hours, NNI installed a new air conditioning unit, allowing this man to stay in his home.
In addition to fixing homes, NNI is putting people to work in our community. They follow Section 3 federal guidelines when hiring licensed, professional contractors. These businesses are local, small businesses whose owners are area residents.
NNI is working with Gladstone Community Development to organize Neighborhood Home Organizations and assist homeowners associations.
Once NNI is complete with the work, it is presented to staff, the Neighborhood Commission, and the City Council of Gladstone to assist in stronger programming for the neighborhoods.
The demand for their services continues to exceed the funding that is available. Many low income citizens in need of critical home repairs have to be placed on a waiting list until funds become available. Gladstone residents can help support NNI with a tax deductible contribution. Donations can be made online through their website at www.nni.org. Your donation can be specifically dedicated towards Gladstone projects.
If you would like to learn more about the NNI organization, they can be reached at 454-2000 or at their office at 4420 NE Chouteau Trafficway, Kansas City. Their website is www.nni.org.