In 1970, a group of men formed a new Alcoholics Anonymous group and called themselves Performance III or “P III”. These were straight talking, no nonsense men who had surmounted many challenges and found their own sobriety.
The men of P III were frustrated in their attempts to help other men (and their families) they encountered on 12th step calls due to the inability to place the men in a sober home environment. Some of the men had nowhere to go and others had been asked to leave their homes because of their drinking.
The group began renting rooms in rundown hotels in downtown Kansas City and passing the hat (at their AA meetings) to pay the bills. In 1971, they secured permanent housing (a 2 story, 3 bedroom house at 2540 Holmes) that provided a clean and safe space for other men to find sobriety. After also acquiring the house next door, capacity expanded to sixteen men. In just 3 years, Welcome House had become a vital resource in the recovery community.
The men of P III were committed and “hands on” in their efforts – bringing these men to meetings, helping them find jobs, sponsoring and counseling them along a sober path of recovery. As residents realized the benefits of sobriety (and stability), they were asked to pay a subsidized rent, so others could receive the support they desperately needed. The men of P III believed there was dignity in paying your own way and earning your keep. They also refused any government subsidy to fund their mission and relied on private donations to make up any shortfall. At capacity for the next decade, and with the need for more beds continuous, Welcome House purchased and moved to a 3 story apartment building at 27th and Charlotte. Doubling again, the bed capacity was now thirty four. In 1986, the current property at 1414 E. 27th Street was purchased from Catholic Charities, and through remodeling, total capacity has grown to 82 residents.
In the 45 years since its humble beginning, Welcome House has received over $6,000,000 in private donations, served 1,200,000 meals, held more than 40,000 12 step meetings, and helped over 15,000 men seeking sobriety and a place to turn their lives around. The men of P III believed that service to others, lending a helping a hand, and paying your own way was, and is, the path to living a rich and fulfilling life. Sober.
Welcome House is a 501(c)(3) organization and was incorporated in 1971.