Friday, November 4, 2016

Leading the job search group at Sheffield Place

Job seeking is a real challenge for almost everyone at some point in their lives. Along with the many supportive services provided to the women at Sheffield Place, groups about the job search process are provided.

In October, I was the class leader on this topic - Ten Action Steps from Job Posting to Job Offer. I am very pleased that I was asked to present this information to such an interested and energetic group.  It was not a formal class presentation.  Every meeting was a lively group discussion with everyone participating, asking questions, sharing experiences, talking about how to answer those difficult interview questions and mentioning job leads.  We did not exactly cover all the action steps in sequence, but through the discussion, we covered all the steps. 

Some of the women already have jobs, but are interested in having a resume and possibly applying for other jobs. Class participants now either have a revised resume, or a new resume which they created during the class. The importance of a cover letter was discussed and they were provided sample formats.  We discussed portfolios because one woman needs a portfolio to apply for jobs in the food/restaurant industry. In fact, we talked about whatever they wanted to talk about so that the class would be relevant to their situations.

They all have so much enthusiasm!!!! I had so much fun getting to know them. They are ready to move ahead. Like many job seekers, the women at Sheffield Place have child care needs and transportation challenges.  That impacts the job offers they can accept due to shifts and locations.  They understand these employment challenges and the need to find jobs that fit their background, skills and lives at this moment. Those who are seeking jobs now are enthusiastically and realistically assessing their job skills and finding jobs that match their backgrounds, as well as looking for a workplace where they can be successful.

Deborah Hays

[Sheffield Place is grateful for Deborah's volunteer assistance with the job search group.  Deborah brings many years of senior-level corporate HR experience and a commitment to facilitating groups for job seekers.  Thank you!]

Thursday, April 14, 2016

James Madison University (Harrisonburg, VA) Spent their 2016 Spring Break at Sheffield Place

For the 17th year, students from JMU made the 21 hour trek to Kansas City to work at Sheffield Place.  These engaged, hard-working students could have been in warm, sunny places like many other students on spring break, but they chose to come to Kansas City and learn about the crisis of family homelessness.

Here are comments on the week provided by students about what they learned:
Our group traveled a long way, yet we felt at home at Sheffield Place.  The families welcomed us into their lives.  They were eager to share their stories.  One mother even made fruit salad for our whole group of nine!  And the staff have been nothing but kind and generous toward us.  Every question we have, they take the time to answer and they’ve gone out of their way to include us in the mission and work being done here at Sheffield Place.  We could not be more grateful to have been given the opportunity meet so many loving and optimistic individuals.  The people who make up the community of Sheffield Place have defied every expectation we had in the best possible way.

When you walk in the door of Sheffield Place, you sense the atmosphere that motivates people to succeed.  You feel as though you will have all the help you need right here.  Every staff member is so devoted to individuals and expresses how much they care.  It surprises us how much they accomplish and how much they give when the staff is so small.  We are amazed at the way they utilize every resource they can appropriately.  Even with us only being here for a short time, we’ve felt as though everything we’ve been asked to do has been purposeful.  Sheffield Place never has any “busy work” and maximizes the time and talents of their staff and volunteers to their full potential.

We were amazed by the impact that Sheffield Place has on the community.  This team of people is working hard to better the lives of many families by fixing up neglected houses and transforming them into safe, permanent homes.  It takes lots of heart to undertake such a task, but it is such a wonderful way to ensure the families that leave Sheffield Place have an environment where they can succeed.  This agency values community and relationship building and expresses it in all they do.  They also keep families connected with the agency and its resources long-term and have created a longstanding friendship with the JMU.  

We cannot describe how inspiring it has been to be surrounded by the caring nature and positive environment at Sheffield Place. 

 A big thank you to these students and JMU for their longstanding partnership!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Reflections of a former client on what Sheffield Place has meant to her and her family

I was 18 yrs old and in my 8th month of pregnancy and an organization called the Light House referred me to Sheffield Place.

Sheffield Place provided my daughter and me with shelter, counseling, parenting classes, the opportunity to choose a career path and resources to identify the different programs to help single moms get back on our feet.

Sheffield has made a huge difference in my life and that of my daughter. I found piece of mind knowing that there was an organization that help put me on the right path to improving our life to become more self-sufficient as well as confident about myself.

AnnaLisa Knefel (center in photo below) is a dental assistant and a member of the board of directors at Sheffield Place.

If you have reflections on how you have been involved at Sheffield Place, please share them.  Sheffield Place is publishing remembrances during 2016 - the 25th anniversary of the agency.  Email

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Reflections of Bill Pape on the 25th Anniversary Year of Sheffield Place

As Sheffield Place begins its 25th year of service, it's appropriate to share the reflections of the Rev. Bill Pape who founded the agency, which opened in 1991.  Throughout the anniversary year, other voices - volunteers, clients, community members - will share their experiences as well.  If you would like to contribute your perspectives, please contact

"I would like to thank you all for the opportunity and the many others I had over the years of starting with Sheffield Place years ago.

It definitely was a new way of doing things that we had to reach out to at the time. Many people worked  and helped us to make it an opportunity that  allowed us to be doing many things, that still even today, will continue to go into the future tomorrow!

I know that you at Sheffield Place will continue to do what you have been doing - But, I ALSO KNOW you will also go on helping people in need.  GOD BLESS!"     BILL PAPE