Community workshop aims to improve KCMO urban core neighborhoods

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Improving Kansas City's urban core neighborhoods was the goal of a workshop Saturday at the Kauffman Foundation Conference Center. The workshop connected people, projects and resources all with the same objective; to better Kansas City!

Paul Tancredi attended the workshop representing the Blue Hills Neighborhood Association. He's lived in the neighborhood his entire life. He joined hundreds of others Saturday who wanted to learn how they can better their urban core communities.

"It's good to have people that are interested in community development," said Tancredi.  "People that also are motivated by what they see in their neighborhoods and what they'd like to improve."

Amanda Wilson is with the nonprofit Community Capital Fund that helps fund local projects. She said their plate is full.

"We're kind of fighting uphill a little bit right now. So, a lot of the areas we work in are historically disinvested…from investors, from retail, banks and we've seen a lot of folks moving out of the area," said Wilson.

A big problem left behind by fleeing families was all of the abandoned homes and vacant lots. There are hundreds in Tancredi's neighborhood.

"Goal is to fix up the houses that can be fixed up, occupy the houses that are already fixed up," he said.

The Community Capital Fund's Grant Program supports neighborhood building initiatives through grants. It said the grants help engage and empower neighborhood residents to live productive, healthy and interconnected lives.

Saturday was the third annual Community Development Workshop.

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