Central Avenue: The road to Renaissance in KCK

CABA participants of La Placita

“Come and examine for yourself a peculiar city, which is rapidly growing,” reads a century-old invitation from Kansas City, Kansas. “This state of Kansas will have what belongs to her — a great city.”

KCK has seen its ups and downs since then. Today, the “Great City” is on an upward swing, thanks in part to the work of the Central Avenue Betterment Association and Partners.

Toward a better city now and tomorrow
CABA has a mission: to improve the quality of life and economic development of the Central Avenue area and CABA’s territory of operation, which includes the community surrounding the core commercial district.

To accomplish its goals, CABA is working to:

  • Promote youth education.
  • Improve family structure and stability.
  • Promote neighborhood enhancement and maintenance.
  • Promote culture.
  • Facilitate entrepreneurship.
  • Increase business growth.

CABA’s is an ambitious agenda, but the organization is working hard to
carry it out. It has introduced a number of programs aimed at enhancing
opportunities for the current and next generation. Here are just two examples.

La Placita: The place to start a business
Held in Bethany Park, La Placita is a bi-monthly market featuring vendors,
entertainment, and a chance for members of the community — people from many walks of life — to show what they have to offer and to make connections. It is, in fact, a business incubator.

The market is entirely secured and promoted by CABA with help from the Unified Government’s Parks and Recreation Department, along with many businesses, other organizations, and volunteers. Vendors at La Placita keep 100 percent of their profits.

The purpose of La Placita is straightforward: to provide a venue for community members to explore their ability to produce and commercialize any product without the pressure of a major up-front investment. Each startup is guided through the process of building a path to financial success.

Summer mentoring: Opportunities for the next generation
Each year, CABA sponsors a student program, funded in part by a Board
of Public Utilities grant and open to Central Avenue-area high school

The program:

  • Provides fourth-year high school students with mentors and real-life experiences plus good work practices designed to prepare students for personal success.
  • Builds self-esteem, giving young people the ability to resist negative pressure.
  • Gives the community positive student/resident/business interaction.
  • Pays a stipend after completion of a contract.

To date, the summer mentoring program has been well received by community leaders. More and more leaders and professionals are expressing interest in becoming mentors.

Making a new history
Through CABA, Kansas City, Kansas, is once again reinventing itself. It will take hard work and the support of the community to achieve CABA’s goals. For more information and to contribute time and/or financial support, visit www.cabakck.org or call (913) 707-4622.

This Health Forward-sponsored post originally appeared in the May-June 2018 issue of Our Health MattersSince 2005 Our Health Matters has served as metropolitan Kansas City’s premier health and wellness magazine, linking readers to timely health news, information and resources. The editorial aligns with and supports the community’s goal of creating a culture of health. Topics range from promoting healthy lifestyles, insight on chronic preventable conditions like heart disease, stroke and mental health issues. Our Health Matters is a leading health media—keeping people in touch with their health. Find Our Health Matters on Facebook and Twitter

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