The history of Della Lamb...
               is a story of love and concern.

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It began in 1897 when a group of Methodist women in Kansas City formed a local home mission to serve the needy in their community. Their first task was to establish day care for the children of working mothers, the Italian immigrants who had settled on the North side.


With rising trends in social reform, women of the mission saw more opportunities to serve low-income families in the growning city. Using a model from a welfare center in London, they founded what was called an "Institutional Church." The Christian settlement house offered social services and educational opportunities for children and adults.

The three-story Institutional Church opened in 1906 at Admiral, Holmes and Sixth Streets. Twenty rooms included day care and kindergarten, a "pure milk" station, a dormitory, a boys' carpenter shop, sewing classrooms, reading rooms and an auditorium. Non-denominational programs served all races and religions. "The Kansas City Star" said, "As the Institutional Church and Neighborhood House, it provided the first day nursery and first well-baby clinic in the city." It also offered one of the first gymnasiums available to the public in Kansas City.

In 1946, the Institutional Church was renamed in honor of Mrs. Fred Lamb, who had served as president of the Neighborhood House for 25 years. Della Cochrane Lamb was also first president of the board of trustees of the Methodist Church's Women's Division of Christian Service.

Fifty-four years after it was built, the handsome stone Institutional Church was razed to allow for construction of the Sixth Street Trafficway. The new center, built at 500 Woodland Ave., was constructed in 1961 at a cost $250,000. In 1988, major renovations were made to "The Lamb" and a modern gymnasium/multi-purpose center was added at a cost of $1,900,000.

The Lamb Today

                                       Our current building at 500 Woodland Ave., built in 1961 and                                        renovated in 1988, serves Kansas City's entire inner city. It houses                                        administrative offices and facilities for Youth Services, Emergency                                        Social Services, Adult Services and Day Care Center.

                                       Serveral satellite locations and the Mabee Multi-Purpose Center house                                        programming for area youth, adults and seniors.



Della Lamb Community Services | 500 Woodland Ave., Kansas City, MO 64106-9908
816-842-8040 | Fax 816-842-7727 | Send us an e-mail >>


Special thanks to these funders for their support:
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