By Kathy Feist
Around Christmas two years ago, Faye Kendrick had one donated turkey still left in the freezer. She decided to roast it, create meals and give it to the less fortunate standing on the corner on Christmas Day. Before she knew it, friends joined in. Thirty meals strapped with Christian literature and a $10 bill were delivered that Christmas to appreciative recipients.
That was out of the ordinary for Faye. Normally she likes to surprise unsuspecting people at laundromats on Christmas by paying the cost of their laundry.
Faye is just one of those generous people. Perhaps her biggest gift, though, has been two houses she gave to her neighborhood: one that serves as a community impact center and another as a home for women in recovery.
Dave’s Place, 2116 E 74 St., just celebrated its 15th anniversary in October. The 12,000 sq. ft. house is a community impact center affiliated with the Christian Fellowship Baptist Church on 4509 Troost. The acronym DAVES stands for Divine Action and Victory for Everlasting Support. But it also is the name of Faye’s late husband.
“When that house came up for sale across the street from us my husband and I both knew we had to purchase it,” says Faye.
Dave began converting the house to a meeting place for Faye’s fellowship of women called No Greater Love. However, he never saw it to its completion. Dave died of cancer in 2004.
Faye, who worked for 32 years as a Youth and Family Development Specialist for the University of Missouri Extension Division, began to look beyond just her women’s ministry and toward the community as a whole.
In the fall of 2006, the community center opened.
Its spacious rooms provide low-cost counseling for individuals and families thanks to a Friends University internship program.
The sun-filled living room provides classroom space for Dave Ramsey’s virtual Financial Peace University. “You will be surprised how many people put their cash in a can,” says Faye.
A basement filled with donated items from Walmart via the Good 360 program gives struggling families a free shopping spree.
The dining room also serves as a meeting place for the Walnut Grove neighborhood association. Dave’s Place works in tandem with the Marlborough Community Coalition, which the neighborhood belongs to.
Recently the house has been getting a “facelift.” A professional decorator has donated her services. Desks, furniture, and even a repurposed fireplace mantel have been donated. Kitchen appliances have been purchased with grant money. Electronics for Zoom watch parties have been purchased. And a group of volunteer retired carpenters from Olathe have rebuilt the backyard deck and added a gazebo. Faye says the property is sometimes used as a center for private celebrations
Even the old logo has been updated. It depicts a lighthouse, a favorite collection of Faye’s found throughout the house. “I like it because it says if you are lost, you can find yourself here,” she says.
About five years ago another house came up for sale in Faye’s neighborhood. She snatched it up. This time she aligned her efforts with Footprints, an outpatient treatment program in the inner city, and named the house M.A.M.A’s House. MAMA is an acronym for Mothers Achieving the Master’s Agenda. It provides housing for women in recovery and from substance abuse and mental disorders. Additional services include meals, self-care, outpatient therapy, and life coaching through the Wayne D. White Community Center. The women also get available counseling at Dave’s Place.
Mama’s House, Dave’s Place, Footprints, and the Wayne D. White Community Center are each in some way affiliated with the Christian Fellowship Baptist Church on Troost. Currently Faye serves as executive director of Footprints.
“Christian Fellowship does wonderful outreach and I like that.”
To find out more about Dave’s Place go to @kendrickshouse. To find out more about MAMAs House, go to kcfootprints.org.