March, 2021

A Letter to the Compassionate Leadership of Kansas City

Terri English-Yancy, Founder and CEO of “Essential Families”, has been a servant leader in
Kansas City’s not-for-profit community for two decades. She gave up an executive position ina
quality, local non-profit to create “Essential Families,” an organization that:

  • Fills gaps in existing social services.
  • Is flexible and quick to respond to unanticipated needs, thus keeping individual families together and moving forward.
  • Increases the efficiency and effectiveness of existing social service agencies by helping families who, while on a waiting list for services at one agency, can find another agency that is immediately ready to serve that family’s need.

Strong neighborhoods are the cornerstone of our cities, our two states, and our country. And strong neighborhoods are built by the families who live in them. Therefore, we must recognize that neighborhood improvement starts at the family level where the life of the neighborhood begins. When neighborhoods function effectively and prosper, so do our cities.

“Black Lives Matter” (BLM) makes us realize that something is missing. If existing social service agencies, many of which have a specific purpose, are the “bricks” in the structure of Kansas City’s social services, then “Essential Families” is the “mortar.” “Essential Families” helps keep the structure of social services in Kansas City strong and, equally important, keeps families from falling through the cracks.

The recent (BLM) protests and marches have created a momentum for change that must not be lost. “Essential Families” approach to improving neighborhoods is helping struggling families, regardless of their race or income. “Essential Families” will establish needed programs where they do not exist or where the demand outstrips available services.

For example, initial services include:
  • Mental Wellness Support – targeting the overall well-being of the family.
  • Home Visiting — supporting expectant mothers, parents or guardians of children birth to five with the areas of health, nutrition, family engagement, mental wellness and education.
  • “” providing Greater Kansas City (23 Counties) residents with a Free, Easy to Use, Phone App. Just input the service needed and home zip code, to locate providers.
Steve McClure Ph.D.
P.O. Box 414453
Kansas City, MO 64141