Financial support to families for their foster care children often ends when the child becomes 18 and “ages out” of foster care.
Emerging adults “aging out” of foster care often struggle to find housing as they transition to adulthood. This can set their lives on a difficult path, leading to unemployment and even homelessness. Affordable housing is a primary factor in avoiding these outcomes.
Approximate 8 to 10 young people age out of foster care annually in our community. Home Works USA is seeking to create 15 affordable rental units to make a significant contribution to this need for housing.
The Home Works USA community will be sited on private property located at 26050 Chieftain Road in rural Leavenworth County. The 26-acre parcel will also feature a public walking trail now under construction (see A New Community Resource on this website).
This intentional community will support emerging adults who have aged out of foster care as they prepare for adulthood. Our goal is to allow them the opportunity to imagine and realize their dreams in a setting built on the foundation “home works, nature helps, and services matter.“
Affordable rental housing can be a launch pad to financial independence for young people who “age out” of foster care when they become 18. As they improve their earning capacity through education, training, and work experience, these emerging adults are better able to thrive and grow into productive adults.
Helping these young people is manageable in our community. A small number of affordable housing units will make a significant contribution to meeting the needs of the 8 to 10 young people aging out of foster care annually in our area.
26050 Chieftain Road in a rural area of Leavenworth County is owned by Lawrence resident Barbara Sabol and her sister, and has been in their family since the early 1900s. It is their vision to transform their property into a new community resource to support young people aging out of foster care to become successful adults.
As a first step, we are establishing a public walking trail on the property to connect people with nature and encourage healthy, outdoor activities. We have partnered with the Kansas Trails Council (KTC) to build and maintain the trail. With the help of volunteers, trail development is almost complete.
Next, we are planning a small community of 15 affordable housing units for emerging adults aging out of foster care. The houses will have small footprints of 250 to 400 square feet each in three clusters of five units. Professionally installed and county approved septic systems will provide onsite sewer service. The community will be served by Rural Water District 13.
A Community Manager will be responsible for property management and public trail maintenance. Residents will have support for employment, education, personal growth, and other services including transportation.
The 15 rental units will be clustered in three groups of five units each. Each unit will have a small footprint of 250 to 400 square feet.
The houses will share common spaces and facilities to support community connectedness, sustain relationships, and access necessary services. Professionally installed and county approved septic systems will provide onsite sewer service. The community will be served by Rural Water District 13.
An onsite Property Manager will oversee building and property maintenance, and a Social Worker will support residents to pursue education, job training, and entrepreneurial and employment opportunities.
The community will be sited on a 26-acre parcel of privately owned land in a rural area of Leavenworth County. Newly created public hiking trails will encircle the residences. A private shuttle service will provide transportation to residents.
Below are some frequently asked questions about our project. If you have a question that is not addressed here, please send us an email from Got Questions? on this site.
- How will residents get to town from the rural site?
A shuttle service will provide transportation to allow convenient travel to work, school, shopping, and recreation in Lawrence and beyond.
- What about maintenance to the buildings and grounds?
Home Works USA will provide professional maintenance to all buildings and the entire community site.
- What will the buildings be like?
Each house will be professionally designed and constructed, and permanently mounted on a concrete slab. All aspects of the design and construction will meet code standards. See Take a Look on this site for illustrations and a site map.
- How will residents be supported to become adults?
A trained social worker and a professional site manager will be available to residents. Residents who show leadership abilities will serve as mentors to other residents.
- What are the rules of the community?
Rules for residents will be spelled out in their lease agreements. Residents may develop additional rules when the community is up and going. Rules governing units and common areas will comply with applicable laws, rules, and regulations.
- Who will own the buildings?
The buildings will be owned by Home Works USA, LLC. The current land owners will retain ownership of the real estate and lease it on a long term basis to Home Works USA.
- What will daily life be like in the community?
Residents are likely to be employed, attend school, pursue a combination of work and school and may pursue entrepreneurial opportunities. Residents will have responsibilities such as paying their monthly rent and utilities, cooking, cleaning, and moving toward adulthood. They will make choices about available services and supports, and participation in community activities.
- Who is leading this project?
Leadership for this project includes:
– Barbara J. Sabol, Home Works USA, LLC (Property Owner)
– Frankie Foster-Davis, Home Works USA, LLC (Project Director)
– Jake Hodson, Home Works USA, LLC (Construction Project Manager)
– David Sain, Rockhill and Associates (Building Design)
– Michael Crow, Crow and Associates (Legal Counsel)
- Will the houses be fully electric?
- How many people will reside in each house?
These are single occupant dwellings.
- Will residents be allowed to have pets?
Yes, in accordance with the terms of their lease.
- Will the houses be handicap accessible?
There will be one ADA compliant house in each five-unit pod.
- Will the houses be furnished?
The houses will be furnished. Furnishings in handicapped units will be configured to ensure that the tenants’ needs are accommodated.
- How will residents be selected?
Applicants must demonstrate sufficient resources to meet their financial obligations, including rent.
- How long will residents be allowed to stay?
There is no set time limit. Residents’ leases will govern the length of occupancy and renewal of the lease.
- Will the houses be inspected?
Inspections will be conducted in accordance with applicable laws, rules, regulations, and the terms of the lease.
- What about noise?
The community will enforce Kansas law prohibiting conduct that disturbs the quiet and peaceful enjoyment of the premises by other residents.
- Can you help me visualize the size of these houses?
On the inside, these houses will be similar to a studio apartment.
- Why is Home Works USA building a community with small houses?
This community is being designed to best serve emerging adults leaving foster care by providing an environment that supports saving money and energy, while promoting health and happiness.
- How can I learn more?
Send us an email from Got Questions? and we will be back in touch with you. Thank you for your interest in this important work.