Artists Helping the Homeless has been called "the safety net for the safety net." By bringing together highly diverse organizations focused on helping individuals get off the streets, AHH, Saint Luke's Hospital and many others are addressing gaps and improving the collective impact of Kansas City homeless services. AHH assisted over 1,843 individuals in 2015 by providing transportation, creating transitional living facilities, and focusing on an innovative approach tailored to the individual.
The Amy Fox Servant's Heart Volunteer Award from New House
Citizen of 2015 finalist Kar Woo: His odyssey from selling art to saving lives- December 2015
Click here to read the Kansas City Star award article.
Kansas City Star article: "Helping homeless, one ride at a time" by Edward M. Eveld- May 2012
Besides transportation, Kar Woo offers support and a link to services that can get people off the street
She was thin and blond, and the van driver, Kar Woo, locked in on her multicolored socks and stylish sandals. “Cool socks.”
About an hour before midnight, she’d emerged from a dark pocket near 75th and Monrovia streets in Lenexa. She climbed in with an overnight bag and confirmed she had a reservation at City Union Mission’s family shelter.
Woo got her basic information, but little else. She wasn’t a talker, and he didn’t push. She needed a ride, and he was there. That was the first and main thing. That was a start.
Until 1 a.m. every day, Kar Woo, a slender man with dark shoulder length hair that’s greying around his ears, drives around this brightly painted mini-van, with the Gandhi quote, “Be the Change,” printed in big red letters on the side. He drives it between hospitals, domestic violence shelters, schools, bridges, treatment centers, and even jails, helping people who are homeless. Read the entire article here»
Woo recognized in KC Magazine as one of the "100 People Who Make Life Better in Kansas City" - April 2012
KAR WOO: Record-high gas prices haven’t put the brakes on Woo’s desire to help those in need. Locals might see him behind the wheel of his Be The Change van as he drives the city’s homeless to shelters, rehabilitation services and more. Woo started the nonprofit Artists Helping the Homeless in February 2008, which includes a transportation service and weekly meal service for the local homeless population. Woo’s efforts give KC an extra bonus: By giving rides to those in need, Woo helps the community save tax dollars by lessening the use of unnecessary emergency services. From 2010–11, 9,271 van trips were made to assist 1,538 homeless individuals.
Be The Change program is finalist for National Hospital Charitable Service Awards from Jackson Healthcare
An independent advisory board chose the finalists from a pool of 197 nominees. Each nominee had to demonstrate excellence in at least one of five criteria areas: community impact, innovation, collaboration, transferability and/or best practice. Read the news release from Jackson Healthcare »
Recognized as a Champion Volunteer by Kansas City Mayor Mark Funkhouser
Receiving Proclamation as a Champion Volunteer by the Mayor Mark Funkhouser 2011
Hero of Year, 2011, At Primitivo Garcia Elementary School
Special thanks to the students, Dr. Joe Marlow, all classroom teachers, and Bob Walkenhorst for Helping all the Heros to make the video possible. For the “Heroes” program, which was started by vice principal Tearo Condit, students each year study the life of a “hero.” Prior heroes have included Primitivo Garcia, Cesar Chavez and Irene Ruiz, Buck O'Neil, Tony Aguirre, Steve Palermo, Tearo Condit. Written and Performed by Ms. Merino's Kindergarten Class and Ms. Jackson's 5th Grade Class, presented by Primitivo Garcia Elementary School.
NAMI-KC "Professional Award" Recipient
Honored and Humble to be the recipient of the Professional of the year for NAMI-KC, the nation's voice on mental illness. Honored because of their recognition. Humbled because as I look around, I see many dedicated professionals, who have done much more day in and out dealing with mental illness. Thank You from the bottom of my heart.
The award shows Artists Helping the Homeless is truly a community effort. This award reflects the dedication, guidance and support of many other organization with whom we work to create win-win-win situations. A special thank you to all my co-workers who support me along the way.
Stuart Whitney Award 2009 from Homeless Services Coalition
We are HUMBLE, HONORED & SURPRISED by receiving the Stuart Whitney Award for EXCELLENCE IN COMMUNITY ADVOCACY from Homeless Services Coalition of Greater KC. This award recognizes the participation and support of my friends and volunteers.
It is an honor to be named along side of the Executive Director of Synergy Services Robin s. Winner & Executive Director Wm. Kent Jewell @ Benilde Hall Program & Mr. George Harris with the Police Dept who help put together the Homeless task force project for KC. Again the honor goes to our team. Thanks.
At the same time it is a great reminder to me of more works need to be done. New imagination and ideas needed to be form to make our community a better place for our friends.
BE THE CHANGE The art symbolizes that without change a seed would not become a flower, An acorn would not become a tree.Change is inevitable. It is what we do with it that makes the difference.
Be the Change is a touring exhibit by Artists Helping the Homeless to help those less fortunate,that is moving through Kansas City to spread this message: Change will happen with or without us. By being part of the change, by taking simple acts, that change will do better for ourselves and others.
BE THE CHANGE A Rotating Outdoor Art Sculpture Exhibit Showcasing Original Metal and Lucite Sculptures. 7' metal column supporting 3' tall lettering with a total expanse of 25' to help bring awareness to BE THE CHANGE. Lucite flowers with a diameter of 7' and standing between 12' to 15' created to embrace the change.