The Nerdery - Overnight Website Challenge

Kansas City 2015, May 2-3

CHWC, Inc.

CHWC (Community Housing of Wyandotte County) is dedicated to revitalizing the urban neighborhoods of Wyandotte County through homeownership and community engagement. Though we serve all of Wyandotte County, our current focus is on seven core neighborhoods east of I-635 and west of the state line. The residents of our core neighborhoods are highly diverse, experience high levels of poverty, low levels of education, and high levels of social disengagement.



CHWC uses a three pronged approach to revitalizing our neighborhoods. These three approaches are all related to helping families build financial stability and wealth through home ownership. We build new homes and renovate historic homes, providing affordable housing to low-income residents. We provide financial coaching and education, as well as small loans, down-payment grants and closing cost assistance to help families achieve long-term, sustainable home ownership. Finally, we engage residents to build community assets such as art studios, parks and community gardens. Engaging residents in building shared community assets creates connected, invested homeowners, who will stay in their homes for many years. Studies show that adults with stable housing are more likely to get and keep a job. Children with stable housing learn better in school and are healthier even into adulthood.



Our approach has been proven to be effective. In 2013, our St. Peter/Waterway neighborhood received the "Sustainable Communities" Award from Greater Kansas City LISC. In this neighborhood, CHWC worked with residents to create a quality of life plan. With the guidance of this plan, over 10 years, CHWC built 75 new homes, renovated a major park, and installed a community garden. The neighborhood is now sustaining private redevelopment, home values have increased, and crime has decreased. While we are still working in the neighborhood, we are moving east into the adjacent Bethany neighborhood to continue our work.



Our work impacts approximately 60,000 living and working in urban Wyandotte County/Kansas City, KS. In addition to the direct benefit of the people who achieve homeownership through CHWC, all residents of the area benefit from higher home values, decreased crime, and new community assets.



What new functionality we are looking for

CHWC has always had only a basic website. A new website would communicate information to two audiences: clients and partners/donors.



For our clients, we want to have a schedule or calendar of classes that clients can instantly sign up and pay for. We would like for them to easily be able to identify which services they need or desire and possibly even book a financial coaching appointment through the site. We would also like to be able to have a gallery of homes available for rent or for sale, and floor plans for custom built homes. Many of our clients are only Spanish speaking, so we need to integrate technology that will translate all pages of our website so that those clients can access services too. Currently, our website only exists in English. We also serve a large and growing Burmese and Bhutanese population, and additional languages will be helpful but not the first priority.



CHWC also owns a small portfolio of rental homes. We receive rent payments and requests for maintenance for those homes on an ongoing basis. A portal that would allow people to pay rent or submit maintenance requests is something we have considered but not yet implemented. This functionality is desired but not required.



We would like for our partners, donors and sponsors to be able to easily understand our mission, read stories about families we have helped, see images of current, past and upcoming projects of all kinds. We would also like to be able to recognize our sponsors and funders in unique ways. This will help us leverage increased financial support and donor engagement.



We would also like to connect all of our online platforms to our website and be able to manage much of this in one place. Mobile optimization is critical as well, as most of our clients are accessing our website through smart phones, not desktops. We have a strong Facebook presence, are developing Twitter, YouTube and Instagram as well. It would also be helpful to have a plan for how to utilize this new functionality as part of a high-level communications plan.

How the new functionality will help

By adding this new functionality and additional languages to our website, we will enable our clients to obtain services more quickly and easily. It will make us more efficient and reduce the time it takes to respond to a client. It will also help us reach new audiences.



Adding easy ways for our partners and donors to find organizational information and to connect with the users of our services will increase our ability to obtain the resources needed to support our work. Communicating the need in our community and how we are fulfilling that need will demonstrate why CHWC is important to our community.



CHWC is incredibly grateful to be considered for this opportunity!



How our organization will use the technology

Who will use the technology

8 Messages from Supporters

2015-03-19 17:05:43 UTC
Edwin Gordillo

My name is Edwin Gordillo, I am the Administrative and Marketing Assistant at Community Housing of Wyandotte County (CHWC). I am writing to let The Nerdy Overnight Challenge Staff know that part of my duty is to manage the website we currently have. As a non profit we don't have the best resources, enough staff or capital because what we get, we send back into the community. With that being said, there really isn't a "marketing team" or a reserve of money to use just for marketing efforts. The way we get the word out are services that are free, like, social media, flyers and of course a free online website (which has it's pro's and con's). As I said earlier, I do manage the website and what I can do is edit the website, but what I cannot do, is help my organization as The Nerdy Overnight Challenge Staff can.

I and everyone from CHWC, Inc. will be very privileged, honored, and feeling ecstatic to have this great opportunity given to us.

2015-03-19 18:45:38 UTC
Jaime Aguirre

I am the director of development for CHWC, and I also live in the area we serve. My neighborhood is diverse and colorful. I work here because I see the daily impact of our efforts on my neighbors and their families. I would love to have a website that is easy to navigate and helps connect our residents to the services and programs they need. A new website built by professionals will help increase our outreach to the people who need it the most!

2015-03-20 22:58:48 UTC
Rolland Love

I have been involved with a number of not for profit groups over the past 30 years. None more dedicated to revitalizing of urban neighborhoods in WYCO an Community Housing of Wyandotte Country. It is truly an effective and powerful movement.

2015-03-22 22:56:50 UTC
Jamie Picow

Over the last 5 years, I have known the staff at CHWC. We have collaborated on different projects. The impact they have made in the community they are serving is significant providing people with homes, hope, and ongoing support. They have brought more stability, nutrition, community engagement and empowerment to the neighborhood! Please help CHWC continue giving people a hand up and sustain quality neighborhoods and housing.

2015-03-23 18:56:56 UTC
Jeff Lipp

I have served on the Board of Directors at CHWC for the past 5 1/2 years and am the past Chairman of the Board of Directors, which I served for 2 years. I have also chaired the Project Development subcommittee that oversees and guides all housing and revitalization initiatives at CHWC.

I have seen the condition of CHWC’s core neighborhoods ebb and flow over the years and I'm proud to be part of an organization that is truly making change. CHWC creates and sustains quality neighborhoods and housing for so many individuals in the downtown neighborhoods of KCK. These “neighborhoods” are not just about the houses; they also include community engagement, improvement of parks and alley ways, community gardens, educating prospective homebuyers and other means that truly make a difference in an area. Needless to say, all of these positive changes and efforts make me extremely proud to be part of the CHWC family.

2015-03-24 13:46:30 UTC
Susan Carroll

I am A member of the Board of Directors for CHWC. I am also a lifetime resident of the community served by CHWC. The impact this organization has had on the urban core is indisputable. Without CHWC's revitalization efforts, the story of the urban core Neighborhoods of KCK, would be of blight and deterioration. However, the story is dramatically different because of their efforts to revitalize through not only affordable housing, financial literacy, but engaging the entire community through their work with youth, family groups, community gardens and art.
Having better visibility is vital to telling the story to the larger community and engaging a broader base of support. An effective web page is critical to continuing our work!

2015-03-24 20:28:29 UTC
Larry Greenbaum

I am a member of the board of directors of CHWC. CHWC has rejuvenated neighborhoods in Kansas City, Kansas with many of its efforts, including renovations of existing homes and construction of new ones along with providing neighborhoods with structure to perpetuate neighborhood communities. It's web site has provided people everywhere and especially in KCK with resources to educate people about the path to successful home ownership. Additional help with the website would advance the reach and productivity of CHWC and those it can serve to continue the effort to bolster the neighborhoods within urban KCK and beyond.

2015-03-24 13:45:58 UTC
Susan Carroll

I am A member of the Board of Directors for CHWC. I am also a lifetime resident of the community served by CHWC. The impact this organization has had on the urban core is indisputable. Without CHWC's revitalization efforts, the story of the urban core Neighborhoods of KCK, would be of blight and deterioration. However, the story is dramatically different because of their efforts to revitalize through not only affordable housing, financial literacy, but engaging the entire community through their work with youth, family groups, community gardens and art.
Having better visibility is vital to telling the story to the larger community and engaging a broader base of support. An effective web page is critical to continuing our work!

Our Mission

Our mission is to stabilize, revitalize and reinvest in Wyandotte County/Kansas City, KS neighborhoods through improved housing and other quality of life initiatives. In addition to the three pronged strategy mentioned above, CHWC works with residents to identify and meet needs unique to each neighborhood. In 2015, in collaboration with residents and businesses surrounding the Douglas Sumner and Strawberry Hill neighborhoods, CHWC opened up a small, nonprofit coffee shop that will provide jobs and job training skills to disadvantaged youth. The Bethany neighborhood, which has a high population of low-income elderly residents, currently offers no medical services for the elderly. We are working to build an assisted living and skilled nursing facility that will house 140 seniors. This facility will provide general medical services and rehabilitation services as well. It will also create jobs for area residents of all ages. As a small nonprofit with low overhead, we are flexible enough in our operations to adapt to changing community needs. As our community changes, we are able to connect with residents and adapt our services to meet their unique needs.