Intern to study Hillcrest Transitional Housing results

rpulley@lsjournal.comMarch 7, 2014 

Kelsey Vincent is a new face around Lee’s Summit, an intern for Hillcrest Transitional Housing.

Vincent, a senior at Kansas State University in Manhattan, is working at the Lee’s Summit location and has been shadowing Eastern Jackson County director Cotton Sivils as he goes to fund-raising meetings with donors, Rotary of Lee’s Summit and she is sitting in on case management sessions with residents.

Hillcrest Transitional Housing is a program where homeless people can get housing for 90 days, rent free, with assistance with a food pantry. A requirement of the program is they have a job, and case workers help them learn about managing money, with the goal of them saving for their first month’s rent when they graduate in 90 days.

“They teach the life skills they need and hold them accountable, which I think is really important,” Vincent said.

She said that residents have regular community meetings where they also learn from each other. They are encouraged by seeing residents they know leaving for their own newly-rented homes and think, “I need to be succeeding too,” Vincent said.

Vincent also will work on a study of how past clients are doing, trying to interview all who’ve graduated the program in the last five years. She’ll help with planning the annual Hillcrest Walk for the Homeless May 17 at Unity Village, registration at 9 a.m., walk starts at 10 p.m. with a goal of raising $40,000.

Vincent is from Hill City in northwest Kansas and plans on going to graduate school and eventually being a family therapist.

“She’s seeing how the sausage is made,” Sivils said.

He said the agency had found an excellent intern, as evidenced by her recently being selected as Outstanding Senior by the Family Studies and Human Services department in K-State’s Human Ecology School.

Vincent also has been working in the agency’s Lee’s Summit thrift store. She’s impressed by the volunteers’ and staff’s enthusiasm.

“You can tell they want to be there,” Vincent said. “And that makes the residents’ clients feel more comfortable.”

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