KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- It’s a trickle down effect of violence in the community.
The impact now evident in non-profits, like Corey's Network, just trying to help.
"We actually had to turn a couple families away for financial help," President and co-founder of Corey's Network, Michelle Metje, said. “We have had some donations come in, so we are able to do some financial at this time, but we are still not up to the amount that we normally give.”
Since 2014, Metje has been helping countless families of homicide victims around the metro. She started the non-profit after her own son, Corey Laykovich, became a victim of homicide.
“For me, it is a way to keep Cory’s memory alive. Corey was very altruistic. He gave whenever he could, and never expected anything back," Metje said.
Her organization offers counseling, guidance, and help lifting the financial burden of burying a loved one. However, on the heels of a violent year in Kansas City, Metje said the organization is almost out of funds.
“We served over 62 families last year. For us to turn someone away, it’s heartbreaking, and it’s heartbreaking for everyone on the board of directors," Metje said.
There were 148 homicides in Kansas City in 2019 alone, 10 more than 2018. If you include the handful of homicides in outlying areas, including Raytown, Independence and KCK, Metje says the demand is stretching the non-profit thin.
Right now, the organization reportedly has enough funds to donate towards a few more funerals.
Metje said she is remaining optimistic the donations will start rolling-in, so she, and others, can continue to walk in their purpose.
“What we are trying to do is just one act of altruism. A true gift. With nothing in expectation as far as anyone giving us anything back. We just want to be able to give that for their cause, or for their need," Metje said.
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