Our Mission & History
Our programs promote healthier aging by:
-Creating Opportunities for Purposeful Living
-Increasing Social Connections and Activity
-Reducing Isolation and Loneliness
-Reducing Food Insecurity
Empowering, celebrating and serving older adults.
Our mission is to support and celebrate Kansas City's older adults, fostering independence and connection to ensure every person is seen, heard and respected.
KC Shepherd’s Center is the original Shepherd’s Center, founded in 1972 by Dr. Elbert Cole, serving as the model for now 56 Shepherd’s Centers across the country. Dr. Cole, then Pastor at Central United Methodist Church looked around his congregation at those nearing retirement and realized these vibrant, talented people
had decades of life left, and had much to offer and receive both from each other and the community. He convened a group of 25 faith leaders around Kansas City, and Shepherd’s Center was born.
For nearly 50 years, KC Shepherd’s Center has offered a unique peer led platform of services aimed at helping senior Kansas Citians stay active and involved, get the care they need, remain independent as long as possible in their own homes, and age well in place. Our model is ‘of seniors, by seniors, for seniors’, reflected in our senior volunteers, our governance structures and our programs.
Dr. Cole received immediate national attention for the revolutionary peer led initiative, and within two years, communities from around the country were asking how to create similar programs in their own areas. He then founded Shepherd’s Center of America, still headquartered in Kansas City.
Our programs and services are dedicated to reducing the devastating impact on seniors' physical, mental and emotional health and wellbeing of social isolation.