2009 MetLife Awards: Westside CAN Center Day Laborer Program

Local Initiatives Support Corporation
In the late 1990s, Kansas City saw a dramatic increase in Latino immigrants. Many of these immigrants found their way to the Westside neighborhood which became an ad-hoc day laborer hiring site. Crime problems ensued, with day laborers involved as both victims and, in some cases, perpetrators of theft and violence. The greater community's perceptions and judgments of the new Latino immigrant community were being negatively influenced by their experience with the Westside day laborers, and day laborer victims were fearful of reporting crime. Westside CAN Center teamed up with the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department to analyze the problem and brainstorm responses. They began with outreach and services for the laborers and progressed to the development of a full scale day laborer pickup and drop-in center, which successfully addressed community concerns about violence, disorder and crime.
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