Their work started in 1882 when six Little Sisters made the trip to Kansas City to open their first Home. They opened St. Alexis Home for the Aged in a building at 31st & Locust that was originally built to house widows and orphans of the Civil War’s Confederate soldiers. They lived and served at that location until 1923.
When an expansion of Gillham Trafficway forced them to relocate, the Little Sisters purchased land at 53rd & Highland to build a second St. Alexis Home. In May of 1922, Bishop Thomas Lillis led a great procession of 3,500 people to bless and lay the cornerstone for the new building. It was one of the largest Catholic parades ever held in Kansas City! Construction was completed in December of 1923, and for the next 60 years, hundreds of aged men and women called that building “home.”
By 1982, the Little Sisters of the Poor needed to build a new, more modern, functional Home that met the changing Federal and State regulations. With the help of many generous benefactors, our current Home, Jeanne Jugan Center, opened at 8745 James A. Reed Road in 1987 and was designed around the many special needs of the elderly.
It is such a joy to hear stories from people who remember dropping off donations or volunteering at the old Home on Highland; or to talk to those who played in the neighborhood as children, and have stories of the Little Sisters and Residents there. What a wonderful city this is to call home. Here’s to another 130 years in Kansas City!
First Home at 31st and Locust
Second Home at 53rd & Highland