Metro woman rehabbing Kansas City home for refugees in late father’s honor

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Jackson Nteeba couldn't believe his eyes at the transformation of his former home when he saw it for the first time Monday. It looked a little different than when Kris Maasen decided to buy the fixer-upper on Wayne last month.

“We walked in and it was riddled with bullet holes," she said.

Still Nteeba said he had other interested buyers. But the Ugandan immigrant sold it to Maasen for what she could afford, as soon as he heard why she was purchasing it.

Kris Maasen

She wanted to fix it up for a refugee family to resettle in, honoring her late father, Jim White, who ran for Congress in 2016 but died before the election.

“These people, they have no hope, and that was the purpose of the house, that Dad gave people hope," Maasen said.

She said in the 13 days she’s been working on the project, numerous people have donated supplies and their time. Other neighbors without full-time jobs have pitched in for pay.

“It’s already having an effect on the community. It’s just awesome," she said.

Upon seeing her work, Nteeba pledged to donate 10 percent from the sale of his next home to the refugee family’s needs.

“For a complete stranger to go this deep into their heart to buy someone a house it’s unheard of," Nteeba said.

Maasen hopes it inspires a community of charity. She's also planning a garden, art park and basketball court for the entire community to enjoy.

“I believe people are good. I believe people want to help. They just don’t know how," Maasen said.