Day Laborer Work Site & Drop In Center
The most daunting challenge to the neighborhood and the Kansas City Missouri Police Department had been the daily congregation of documented and undocumented Hispanic immigrants near the intersection of Southwest Boulevard and Summit Street in our Westside neighborhood. This intersection and the parking lot of a convenience/liquor store had been an ad-hoc hiring site for over forty years.
The numbers of men around Southwest Boulevard had become unmanageable. From April through November it was not unusual to see upwards of 200 men loitering along the retail area and in Royal Liquor Store’s parking lot waiting to find employment. A segment of the men engaged in inappropriate behavior.
In the late fall of 2002, the WCAN Center invited the day laborers to use the bathrooms, get in out of the inclement weather and get a cup of coffee. Based on input from the neighborhood, our research and observations we decided to develop and manage a more formalized day laborer site. In 2004 we moved to our current location, a renovated 1890’s building situated at a gateway intersection.
We enforce codes of conduct; we have expectations and rules. The men contribute to the center by making donations and volunteering their time to help us address community needs. The men have access to a shower, restroom, kitchen, lockers and a telephone.
For detailed information on this program click on link to Herman Goldstein Award submission.