Sheffield Place is a nonprofit treatment and transitional living program on E. 12th Street in Kansas City, Missouri. For 25 years, homeless mothers and their children have found shelter and the supportive services they need to heal from their trauma and become self-sufficient.
Up to 75 families (fourteen homeless mothers and their children at any one time) call Sheffield Place home each year. The average length of stay is nearly four months.
A typical family at Sheffield Place is headed by a mother in her 20's. The family depends on Temporary Aid for Needy Families, food stamps, and Medicaid. The average mother has two children under five years of age. In 2014, 58% of mothers were Caucasian, 42% of mothers were African American, and 12% self-identified as Hispanic/Latina.
Nearly all of the mothers have a mental health diagnosis, most commonly depression, anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and bi-polar disorder. Most of the mothers have a dual diagnosis of addiction. Most are survivors of domestic violence, and many grew up in foster care and/or were runaways, lack a high school diploma or GED, and have felony convictions.
Home at Sheffield Place is a small living unit with a private bathroom. Five or six families share a kitchen and dining area on the three residential floors. Families share a common laundry room.
To prepare families for self-sufficiency and the challenges of managing a home, families practice life skills. The mothers care for their own living unit and take responsibility for cleaning shared living spaces. With guidance, they learn to prepare healthy food on a tight budget and to resolve conflict in a positive manner. Financial education helps each woman resolve debt and place money in a savings account to begin preparing for the time when she leaves Sheffield Place.