Bethany – Adult Participant Success

Bethany’s journey with Hillcrest Platte County began in October 2023 when she made the courageous decision to leave behind a toxic living situation. Finding safety and peace at HPC, Bethany was relieved knowing she could finally lay her head down at night without fear.

In the HPC program, Bethany’s determination and resilience shone brightly as she completed two prerequisite college courses with outstanding grades. These courses serve as a stepping stone for her upcoming master’s degree program in accounting, a field she is passionate about. With a Bachelor’s degree in psychology already under her belt, Bethany’s pursuit of higher education showcases her commitment to personal and professional growth.

One of Bethany’s most significant achievements has been reclaiming her sense of autonomy. No longer controlled by external forces, she confidently makes decisions shaping her future. This newfound confidence is further nurtured through weekly support group sessions, where Bethany bravely addresses past trauma. Attending a recent convention for this support group provided her with invaluable insights and a fresh perspective on her life journey.

Financially, Bethany has made remarkable strides, paying off over $4,585 in debt. Through diligent saving and budgeting, she is nearly out of debt, setting herself up for a stable and secure future. Bethany was recently approved for an apartment of her own, marking a pivotal stride toward independence.

Bethany’s case manager, Lisa, inspired by her determination and growth, does not doubt that she will achieve great things. Bethany extends her gratitude to all those who have stood by her side at HPC.

Ricky – HPC Adult Participant Success

“Atlanta was a shady place,” Ricky recalled as he reflected on his decision to join our program in November 2023. Disillusioned by the cutthroat nature of the entertainment industry, Ricky made the bold choice to leave Atlanta behind and return to Kansas City in pursuit of a fresh start.

Arriving with minimal debt, Ricky’s tenacity propelled him forward. “I’ve got to get a car. I don’t want to ride the bus. I’ve got to get a car,” he declared, setting his sights on securing transportation. Through sheer determination, Ricky accomplished this goal within three weeks, acquiring a car and laying the groundwork for his future plans.

Utilizing a borrowed laptop, Ricky began to formulate his future business plan, determined to turn his dreams into reality. “As soon as it’s done, I’m gonna put it into action,” he’s affirmed.

Since joining the program, Ricky made significant financial progress, paying off a few hundred dollars in debt and saving over five thousand. Ricky’s dedication was rewarded with approval for an apartment, which he moved into on March 1st.

At graduation, Ricky expressed his gratitude by saying, “I just want to thank everyone, and I will definitely say this program is a blessing.”

Tara Dawson – HPC Adult Participant Success

Tara’s journey with our program began in August of 2023 when she courageously fled domestic violence, seeking safety and a fresh start for herself and her daughter. Despite the challenges they faced upon arrival, including the loss of their housing due to garnished wages, the duo embraced their new beginning with unwavering courage.

Striving to provide, Tara dove headfirst into full-time work at the VA hospital, where she excels in her role as a housekeeper. Meanwhile, her daughter balances part-time work with her studies as a dedicated junior in high school, immersing herself in dance and cheerleading activities.

Throughout their journey, Tara’s infectious sense of humor, care for presenting herself well, and steadfast trust in God have been a source of inspiration. Despite facing multiple losses of loved ones in recent months, Tara remains steadfast, relying on her faith to guide her through life’s challenges.

Through hard work and tenacity, Tara has made significant strides in paying off her barrier debt.

As Tara and her daughter continue on their journey, we stand alongside them, offering our encouragement and support. Together, we celebrate their determination to build a brighter future.

Ranesha – HPC Adult Participant Success

Before coming to HPC, Ranesha was challenged by an unsupportive and toxic living situation with a family member. Determined to create a better environment for herself and her children, she made the courageous decision to leave, leading them to spend several months in a hotel. Since then, Ranesha’s life has been marked by numerous moments of celebration and growth.

While in the program, her daughter J. achieved the significant milestone of high school graduation, while her daughter B. showcased athletic prowess in track, qualifying for the semi-finals in the 200, 400, and 800-meter races. The joy in Ranesha’s life extends to her youngest daughter, A., adding an adorable touch to the family. In addition, Ranesha also enjoys the arrival of her first grandchild, J.’s baby girl, who was born in October.

Professionally, Ranesha embraced a role as an independent contractor for Amazon delivery. Simultaneously, she began to pursue her passion for caregiving by enrolling in CNA classes through the Kansas workforce office, aiming for a career in a nursing facility. Expressing a genuine love for taking care of others, Ranesha envisions a fulfilling path in her new ambition.

Ranesha’s time with HPC empowered her to pay off debt and build a comfortable savings account.

In her own words, Ranesha shares, “I just want to say I’m thankful for this program and it’s a blessing. I’m grateful for being here and getting some help and some assistance. Thank you. I want to thank everybody.”

Community Chair Yoga at Hillcrest Platte County – Open To All

Unlock Wellness in the New Year with HPC Chair Yoga!

Looking for a refreshing New Year’s resolution that promotes both physical and spiritual well-being? Look no further! Join us for HPC Chair Yoga, a rejuvenating practice led by HPC Executive Director, Donice Mahan.


  • When: Every Tuesday
  • Where: Hillcrest Thrift Shop – Picture Hills, Community Room
  • Time: 9:00 AM – 9:45 AM

This invigorating session is not exclusive to our volunteers or staff; it’s open to everyone, including the public! Embrace the calming atmosphere of our Christian values as we weave uplifting Bible verses into the exercise.

And here’s an extra dose of good news – thanks to the generosity of Thrivent Financial, we have top-notch yoga props, including blocks, straps, and mats, available for your use during the class.

For our dedicated staff members, if chair yoga falls outside of your regular hours, feel free to join in and kickstart your journey to a healthier you.

So, mark your calendars and set a positive goal for the year ahead. Whether you’re a seasoned yoga enthusiast or a beginner, HPC Chair Yoga is designed for everyone. Let’s come together and make wellness a priority in 2024!

From Eviction to Empowerment: Keona & Family

Keona found herself facing an unexpected turn of events when she resigned from her job at an apartment complex. Rather than receiving the customary two weeks to close out her responsibilities, she was fired and received a notice of eviction due to her lack of employment. During their time of uncertainty, Hillcrest stepped in to provide refuge for this family of five.

Keona, passionate about dance and singing, spent her free time contributing her talents to her church. Meanwhile, Travis, driven by the desire for his family to have a better future, secured improved employment opportunities.

The family’s journey within the program was marked by significant milestones, including the payment of thousands of dollars in debt and the accumulation of a comfortable savings account. Following graduation, the family moved into a home of their own. 

At graduation, Travis expressed his gratitude, saying, “We’d like to thank Hillcrest for everything you’ve done for us. You helped us take care of debt and move forward, and we appreciate it.” Keona echoes this sentiment, acknowledging the kindness and love they found at Hillcrest, a stark contrast to the challenges they faced before.

In her heartfelt words, Keona reflected on the transformative experience, saying, “Thank you so much for this experience because it helped us to heal through what we have been through and helped us to grow.”

Years of Homelessness to Success – Ivan’s Journey

Ivan’s journey with HPC housing began on April 21st of this year, carrying just a half-filled backpack. At first, he sought simple necessities like clothes and shoes, having been homeless for three years, resorting to couch surfing and hotel stays. Despite the initial defeatist attitude, Ivan’s transformation began through earnest conversations with his case manager. Confronting overwhelming issues, he discovered that many were manageable, and, with newfound confidence, he no longer feared facing challenges head-on.

Life skills sessions on Tuesday evenings became a pivotal part of Ivan’s progress. Interacting with others in similar situations, he found happiness within himself, realizing that external factors couldn’t bring joy. Grateful for the program, Ivan emphasized the importance of sticking to a budget and regaining personal happiness, highlighting how life can lose its luster when one loses oneself. Through perseverance and commitment, Ivan not only paid off debt but also increased his credit score. With a plan in place, he is set to move into his own apartment on December 1st.

Ivan’s case manager played a crucial role in guiding him and despite Ivan’s initial difficulties due to three years without responsibilities, the metaphorical “derailed train” of his life is back on track. Ivan also benefitted from the HPC Counseling Center and his story is now a testament to the transformative power of resilience, support, and a renewed sense of self-contentment.

Young Adult Success – Building Connections, and Embracing Growth at Hillcrest Platte County

Before Talin’s arrival at Hillcrest, life had taken a challenging turn. He and a friend had lost their apartment due to management changes, leaving them homeless and struggling to make ends meet. Many nights were spent sleeping outdoors, and occasionally, they found shelter in the back room of the fast-food restaurant where they were employed. Both Talin and his friend joined our program, seeking a fresh start.

While adjusting to the program’s financial restrictions on spending was tough, Talin’s determination to improve his circumstances was unwavering. As he began saving money, you could see the gleam in his eyes as his bank account grew. He’d often say, “I’ve never had this much money in my life.” Talin quickly embraced the principles and guidelines set by HPC and was eager to make them work. Maintaining a strict budget became second nature, thanks to his dedication and the support of his case manager.

Talin also made excellent use of the resources available at Hillcrest. He found invaluable support in the counseling center, which played a pivotal role in his journey. In December 2022, he began to work at the Hillcrest Thrift Store and utilize our Hillcrest driver to meet his needs.

Beyond financial stability, Talin possesses a remarkable talent for forging deep, genuine connections with people. His warm personality and affable nature make him an instant friend to those he meets. He even hosted a life skills session for our young adults, showcasing his culinary talents by preparing a meal for everyone.

Talin’s ambitions extend beyond his time at HPC. He’s determined to obtain his driver’s license and continues to embrace opportunities to grow and give back. Talin has also mended a long-lost connection with his birth family. This was a vital and heartwarming part of his time spent at Hillcrest, bringing closure and renewal.

With his natural leadership skills, selfless volunteering, and passion for helping others, Talin has truly shone.

In his own words, “I’ve come a really long way through this program, and I really appreciate every single one of you who has been here with me. It has been a long year but it has been a good year. I’ve enjoyed helping, I’ve enjoyed working at Hillcrest, and I plan to continue helping where I can. I don’t plan on not visiting, I plan on swinging by, some might say being a case manager at one point, but that’s way down the road. It’s been an adventure, and it’s been a fun one, and I’m grateful for absolutely everyone who has been here to help support.”

We look forward to witnessing the incredible future he is creating.

Rebecca’s Story – “I gained my strength back here.”

Before coming to HPC, Rebecca endured a series of traumatic experiences, leaving her with deep emotional scars from an abusive marriage and a toxic relationship. 

As time passed within the Hillcrest program, an amazing transformation began to unfold. Rebecca, once weighed down by her past, started to discover a newfound independence and inner strength that she had never known before. She found her voice, a powerful one that could stand up to anyone attempting to dictate her life. Even though some people resisted this “new Rebecca,” her case manager Lisa reminded her, “The people who matter don’t mind, and the people who mind don’t matter.”

Since entering the program, Rebecca tackled three years’ worth of taxes, both personal property and federal, and caught the attention of a doctor who recognized her potential and offered her a job. Moreover, Rebecca managed to pay off over $5,400 in debt.

Rebecca acknowledges that she has become the embodiment of the saying “Be the change.” She has not only changed but has also reclaimed her life. In recent discussions with her case manager, Rebecca shared her dream of having her own place and welcoming a furry companion into her life—a cat.

In heartfelt words, Rebecca expresses her gratitude to the Hillcrest team: “I want to thank everybody here at Hillcrest for giving me my life back. I learned to stay away from the toxic people that I was hanging around with, and the men that used me. My heart was used, but I gained my strength back here.”

It’s clear that her appreciation for Merry, her counselor, is profound: “Merry, especially Merry, I love you. My life has changed, and I want to thank you for everything you did for me.”

As Rebecca moves forward, pursuing her dream of finding an apartment and welcoming her feline friend, she holds her head high. She knows she’s not giving up because she’s found herself again, and she’s determined to embrace the new life she’s created. 

Young Adult Dreams to Reality: Jessica’s Tenacity at Hillcrest

When Jessica first entered Hillcrest as a high school senior, her bank account hardly reflected her dreams of becoming an entrepreneur. Due to unfortunate circumstances, she wound up in the program and undeterred, she was able to triple her savings through determination and the guidance of her case manager.

Exemplifying excellence in her classes, she earned over 10 college credit hours while still in high school. Thanks to the support of Hillcrest, Jessica was able to balance her studies with her work and will be entering college with a head start, as a sophomore at the prestigious MU. A further testament to her tenacity, she has secured a full-ride by applying for numerous scholarships.

In addition, Jessica worked two jobs while at Hillcrest and then opted for one job to make time to earn her real estate license before heading to college. Amidst her busy schedule, she also found a virtual job that will allow her to work part-time or full-time online while pursuing her studies at MU. Her drive to acquire new skills is evident and she has aspirations to establish her own businesses in hair, nails, real estate, and more. Jessica’s journey has been about embracing education and exploring opportunities.

Not only did Jessica excel academically and professionally while in the program, but she also showcased her extraordinary talent as a singer. Jessica is a member of Next Generation KC (a musician group) and performed for the People’s Choice Awards at the Midland.

Now, as Jessica prepares to embark on the next chapter of her life, she attributes her success to the unwavering support of her loved ones and mentors, as well as her unyielding faith in God. Her message to others resonates with an unwavering belief in chasing dreams, regardless of age or circumstances. Through hardships and challenges, she urges everyone to keep pushing forward and putting in the hard work, for it is through perseverance that we realize our true potential.

There is no doubt that Jessica will continue to shine brightly, inspiring others to reach for the stars, one step at a time.