Kansas City’s reStart Inc. recommended to operate a homeless services center in Johnson County

Another milestone has been reached in plans for a homeless services center in Johnson County. An evaluation committee convened by United Community Services of Johnson County unanimously recommended the proposal submitted by reStart, Inc. to serve as the center’s owner and operator.

With 40 years of experience, reStart is a community leader in supporting those who are unhoused while addressing the underlying causes of chronic and generational homelessness,” said Johnson County Board of County Commissioners Chairman Mike Kelly. “I thank the committee for its recommendation and look forward to continued progress on this issue in Johnson County.”

reStart currently provides emergency and permanent housing services in the Kansas City Metro. Established in 1984, they provide support services for individuals, youth, families and veterans.

“We appreciate the recommendation from the committee convened by UCS and are excited by the possibility of providing housing support on the other side of the state line,” said reStart’s Chief Executive Officer Stephanie Boyer. “All of us at reStart are impressed by the work done in Johnson County so far to address this issue in our community and are pleased to join the process as it moves forward.”

In December 2023, the BOCC entered a real estate contract with a hotel property in Lenexa with the intention of remodeling it into an emergency housing center that would provide wrap-around services to people in need. The BOCC has approved a purchase price of $6 million, $350,000 for the hotel operator’s franchise fees buyout and $500,000 for due diligence activities such as a private appraisal, title review and an environmental analysis. The funds come from the federal Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds.

Also in December, UCS released a Request for Proposal to identify an owner/operator of the center and brought together a selection committee of 16 stakeholders to evaluate proposals and make a recommendation. The committee included county staff, subject matter experts and representatives from the cities of Lenexa and Overland Park.

“Since the BOCC included improving housing options as a county priority last year, we’ve seen Johnson County make great progress in supporting efforts to connect residents to safe, stable and attainable housing,” said UCS Executive Director Kristy Baughman. “We have so many amazing resources here in Johnson County. But today, if you are in need of housing in Johnson County but either don’t have children, are not justice-involved nor experiencing domestic violence, you don’t have many options. I’m excited to see the county take this important step in an ongoing process to increase options in Johnson County.”

Next steps include continued due diligence activities on the property and preparing the Special Use Permit application for the City of Lenexa. To stay up to date on this project, please visit jocogov.org/homeless-services-center.

Board of County Commissioners
News Releases