MacKenzie Scott Yield Giving Open Call Awardee

Today, MacKenzie Scott and Yield Giving announced Amethyst Place as one of the Yield Giving Open Call’s awardees working with people and in places experiencing the greatest need in the United States. Amethyst Place received $2 million, which will support its affordable housing expansion project.

Founded in 2000 in Kansas City’s urban core, Amethyst Place is a long-term supportive housing program for women and children recovering from generational substance use, poverty, and trauma. Through 37 apartments and two-generation wraparound supports, the organization inspires transformational healing and empowers generations of women and children to achieve recovery, reunification, and resilience. With a substance use recovery rate of 95% and family reunification rate of 96%, Amethyst Place’s outcomes are more than double the national average.

In March 2023, Yield Giving launched an Open Call for community-led, community-focused organizations whose explicit purpose is to enable individuals and families to achieve substantive improvement in their well-being through foundational resources.

“We are incredibly honored to be among the leading nonprofits in the country working toward transformational community change,” said Starla Wulf Brennan, Executive Director of Amethyst Place. “This gift nearly closes the gap on our capital campaign, ensuring affordable housing for 32 more families by the end of 2024. We can’t wait to bring these families off our year-long waitlist and home to heal.”

The Open Call received 6,353 applications and initially planned for 250 awards of $1 million each. In the Fall of 2023, organizations top-rated by their peers advanced to a second round of review by an external Evaluation Panel recruited for experience relevant to this cause, and underwent a final round of due diligence. In light of the incredible work of these organizations, as judged by their peers and external panelists, the donor team decided to expand the awardee pool and the award amount.

“We are excited that our partnership with Yield Giving has resonated with so many organizations,” said Cecilia Conrad, CEO of Lever for Change. “In a world teeming with potential and talent, the Open Call has given us an opportunity to identify, uplift, and empower transformative organizations that often remain unseen.”

This investment provides a significant boost to Amethyst Place’s $16 million supportive housing expansion project, which is now 87% funded. A block east of its current campus, construction is underway to build 32 more units of housing, along with community programming space, offices for on-site services, and greenspace for families to play. Construction began in summer 2023 and is expected to finish by the end of 2024. Once complete, Amethyst Place will have 70 units in total and serve an estimated 300 women and children annually – an expansion that is desperately needed.

“Sadly, our average waitlist holds about 50 families,” said Starla Wulf Brennan, Executive Director. “Most families wait a year before they can move in. During this time, mom is unhoused and most children are separated in foster care. Imagine all the trauma endured and the potential stifled during this devastating wait.”

Through the expansion, new families experiencing houselessness will be able to move in quicker and current families will be able to stay longer, investing the time necessary for sustainable change. In the long-term, doubled capacity will transform even more generations. By reunifying families, Amethyst Place not only reduces continued trauma and the negative impacts of foster care placement, but it also produces significant cost savings to the foster care system. By stabilizing families’ housing and income, Amethyst Place reduces the prevalence of houselessness and associated costs. By addressing substance use and mental health, Amethyst Place reduces the societal consequences of unmanaged mental health and substance use disorders. Because of its two-generational approach, these outcomes are multiplied for an even longer lasting impact.

With just over $2 million left to raise, the project still needs community support to reach its fundraising goal. To learn more and invest in affordable housing creation and recovery support for women and children, visit https://amethystplace.org/get-involved/growap/.

Rendering of Amethyst Place's affordable housing expansion project at 28th and Tracy in Kansas City, MO