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Our History

Who We Are

Cross-Lines was built on a simple idea — that poverty borne problems could be answered best by looking to the community for solutions and working together to tackle them.

In 1963, a group of ministers and concerned citizens joined together to improve the plight of the poor. According to our Articles of Incorporation, our Founders were Stanley Bohn, Maurice Culver, and Harold Luellen.

In 1965, Rev. Don Bakely was hired as the first Executive Director of Cross-Lines. Under his long-time leadership, Cross-Lines created a legacy of programs that have positively impacted the lives of thousands of people in need.

“I’m trying to uncategorize the poor. I’m trying to put faces on people. I want you to see them as individuals, as people with joys, pains, hopes, and often overwhelming problems. I want you to see some of the traps they are in, feel some of the things they feel. I want you to walk with them just a little bit and try to see some of their almost impossible situations.” - Don Bakely

For more than 50 years Cross-Lines Community Outreach, supported by a network of businesses, churches and individuals, has provided a daily safety net of services for at-risk families, the elderly and individuals.


  • 1963

    Rosedale-Roanoke Cooperative Ministries was formed by local ministers on both sides of the state line. The name soon changed to Cross-Lines Cooperative Council.

  • 1965

    Cross-Lines was incorporated and received non-profit status from the IRS. The legendary Don Bakely was hired as the first Executive Director.

  • 1970

    The Christmas Store program was established so that parents could “shop” for Christmas presents for their families.

  • 1990

    Don Bakely retires after 25 years of service.

  • 1992

    Cross-Lines purchases the former St. Thomas Catholic church and moves operations to our current location.

  • 2004

    Cross-Lines purchased and renovated a closed restaurant and opened the Community Kitchen which now serves breakfast and lunch Monday-Friday.

  • 2007

    The Community Garden is planted.
    The basement of the church is renovated to accommodate the Administrative and Case Management Offices. The Commodities program is moved to the Fairfax district.

  • 2009

    The first bilingual staff person is added to the Cross-Lines team.

  • 2013 - 2016

    Cross-Lines held a 3-year Capital Campaign to raise funds for a new building on campus and establish an endowment for the organization. Over 2.4 million dollars was raised.

  • 2017

    Cross-Lines opens the first new building in the organization’s history. Commodities is moved back to the main campus. The new facility houses the Thrift Store, Volunteer Center, and Food Distribution (Commodities and Food Pantry).

  • 2020

    The COVID-19 pandemic spurs swift programmatic and service changes. Cross-Lines closes the Thrift Store and continues to assist clients in need despite many challenges presented by the virus. The organization serves thousands of people directly impacted by the pandemic.

  • 2021

    Cross-Lines opens the Community Market in the space formerly housing the Thrift Store. The Market operates on a dignity-based model ensuring shopper's choice of all items and a grocery store-like experience. The Market stocks fresh produce, dairy, meat, eggs, shelf-stable foods, household cleaning, and hygiene items at no cost to Wyandotte County residents.