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Living in certain parts of Kansas City could take 15 years off your life

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Where you live could take years off your life.

In fact, people living in six zip codes in Kansas City have a life expectancy almost 15 years lower than the rest of the city.

Those zip codes are: 64126, 64127, 64128, 64129, 64130 and 64132, all on Kansas City's Eastside. In those zip codes, which are also high-crime areas, 94 percent of residents live below the Federal Poverty Level.

Edward Lee hoped he'd seen the last of violence in his neighborhood when a man was murdered in Oak Park across the street from him back in 2016, shortly after he moved in. But he hadn't.

"Five times that I've been here, there's been a shooting on this block where people just shot houses up," Lee said.

The latest shooting of his home was Wednesday morning.

"All this was shot. There was glass everywhere," he pointed out. "I try to take care of my place, but it's just -- I don't know. You don't even know what to do, but something needs to happen," Lee said.

A trio of initiatives were either announced this week or are being discussed at City Hall to try to "Revive the East Side."

One measure up for vote Thursday by that name would allocate nearly $14 million for home improvements, reducing illegal dumping and reconstructing dangerous buildings. A committee Wednesday also discussed creating an Affordable Housing Fund of up to $50 million.

On Wednesday, Kansas City Parks and Recreation and the Kansas City Health Department announced they were giving away 50 remaining free community center passes to people living in the troubled zip codes, a $250 value. It's part of the Life X program.

"These babies, these kids, if my life expectancy is 15 years less, what about theirs? Where does it end?" Lee wondered.

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