KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A New York-based nonprofit has paid the mortgage in full for the family of a fallen Kansas City officer.

Tunnel to Towers Foundation helped Kansas City Officer James Muhlbauer’s family in honor of the 22nd anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

The nonprofit was founded in tribute to a New York firefighter who died in the attacks, and this anniversary, its First Responder Home Program is providing 22 mortgage-free homes to heroes across the country.

“First responders, like my brother, ran towards the Twin Towers thinking only about saving as many lives as possible … When tragedy strikes and these heroes do not make it home, Tunnel to Towers vows to take care of the families they leave behind, just as they took care of us,” said Frank Siller, Chairman and CEO of the Tunnel to Towers Foundation.

The nonprofit’s program pays off the mortgage or provides a mortgage-free home for the families of law enforcement officers and firefighters who are killed in the line of duty and leave behind young children.

Muhlbauer, a 20-year veteran of the Kansas City Police Department, and his K9 partner Champ were killed in the line of duty earlier this year.

Prosecutors say 18-year-old Jerron Lightfoot was driving at 85 mph and ran a red light, striking Muhlbauer’s patrol car. The patrol vehicle crashed into a pedestrian, 52-year-old Jesse Eckes, who also died.

Muhlbauer left behind a wife and two children. His wife, Cassie, said Tunnel to Towers’ support is life-changing.

“We truly appreciate what Tunnel to Towers did. It has a huge impact on our lives not to have the financial burden of a monthly mortgage,” she said in a statement.