Nonprofit breaks ground on new Midtown apartments for young homeless, HIV/AIDS patients

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- When foster kids age out of their support circle, many end up homeless.

That's why one metro nonprofit broke ground on a new home on Thursday morning, one that will give young people in need a place to stay.

Right now, it's a dusty parking lot that sits near 31st and Troost. But within the next year, Save Inc. will transform it into Alhaven, new affordable Midtown housing for young people in need.

When the groundbreaking's shovels turned, Save Inc. nearly doubled the amount of living space it has for people.

Blaine Proctor, the leader of that metro nonprofit, said a quarter of the 50 upcoming apartments will be reserved for people aged 18-25 who have aged out of foster care, some of whom have been diagnosed with HIV or AIDS.

Proctor said HIV and AIDS are on the uptick within a subpopulation of younger people who sometimes find themselves on the streets and unable to care for themselves.

"Even once those kids are diagnosed, they're most likely to fall out of treatment. That's often because of the lack of services and stable housing that are available to them," Proctor said.

Alhaven will have on-site counselors to help young people, as well as substance abuse support for those who need it.

Wanda Washington proudly stood before Thursday's gathered crowd, saying that she was clean and sober.

Washington has lived in Save House for three years. She said he became an addict with no home, and in 2002, she was diagnosed with HIV.

Save Inc.'s guidance renewed her will to carry on.

"I've found a different way to live without shame, remorse, embarrassment," Washington said. "Not only do they help us with our drugs and alcohol, mental health situations, they make sure we get help physically and mentally."

Save Inc.'s newest housing unit also drew praise from city leaders, including Mayor Quinton Lucas, who described this as a moment when community cooperation makes Kansas City better.

"We`re bringing a lot of great things together," Lucas told FOX4. "We`re seeing treatment and care for HIV patients. We also see a building that`s in the midtown community, an area where we need good, quality, affordable housing."

Save Inc. said, as it stands, there are no supportive housing solutions that serve young people with HIV/AIDS. Proctor said he hopes to end that, and open these homes by December 2020.

Save Inc. has been open in the metro for more than 30 years. The agency said the remaining units will go to people they help, who hail from Kansas and Missouri.

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