The Initiative

12 Blocks West is Missouri non-profit organized in February of 2010, located in Independence, MO.

The 12 Blocks West area covers western Independence and parts of Sugar Creek, and Blue Summit, Missouri beginning approximately 12 Blocks West of the home of President Harry Truman located at 219 North Delaware in Independence, MO.  We embody 5 elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school.  The total population of the area falls between 25,000 to 30,000 people.  

We are currently a five person board consisting of an eclectic mix of community leaders vested in the community who share the common dream of improving the lives of people in western Independence, Sugar Creek and Blue Summit. 

Momentum

Our momentum began in 2008 through the historic transition of seven schools and three thousand students from the Kansas City School District to the Independence School District.  The story has been documented in a book titled Inspiring Greatness, A Community’s Commitment to a Brighter Future.

The positive momentum and realization of success through collaboration spurred community leaders and neighbors to build on the momentum and continue to encourage progressive change in our community. This is where 12 Blocks West began.

Our Inspiration

Dr. Bob Lupton, president of Atlanta-based FCS Urban Ministries, visited Kansas City to share his extensive experience in how churches can help rebuild neighborhoods and empower the poor.

Lupton discussed clothes closets, food pantries, housing, crime, creating mixed-income neighborhoods, and the suburbanization of poverty. He cited building community, as opposed to building programs, as a way to address real need. Read more