How Radical Life Began:

As foster parents for over 9 years, Chad & 

Lindsay Smith were often frustrated at

the miscommunication and additional

trauma children faced when unable to

reunite with family members who were

safe and stable. When their pastor asked

them to create a way to reach out to kids

in foster care, they started to dream of

how children in out-of-home placements

in Lyon County could lead different lives.

Visiting programs on the community,

state, and national level, as well as meeting with key stakeholders (DCF workers, Foster Care/Social Workers, and Foster/Bio families) led them to a startling realization. Too many kids in Lyon County were going into foster care for reasons that could easily be remedied. Poverty was the major cause. Creating a way to keep children out of foster care altogether became the goal, and with that, our mission became clear.

After 2 and a half years of research and meeting with community members who were equally invested in this cause, Radical Life was formed. Under the leadership of Youth Core Ministries, we are bringing a radical way of living to our community. We will work to create an environment where all family members can thrive, leaving poverty and the threat of losing custody of their children behind forever. We pride ourselves on being community driven, utilizing evidence-based practices, and being proactive in our approach to poverty and keeping children out of foster care.

Join us! We have a place for you!


Meet our Advisory Board:

Andrea Cahoone, President

Ed Brooks

Ben Coltrane

Erica Fianu

Amy Harmon

Katie Mathews

Becky Mattas

Kim Olson

Vicki Schweinler

Board of Reference Members:

E. Basil Kessler, Heather Wagner, Chad Smith, & Steve Willis

Community Driven 

Radical Life is inspired by the community for the community. We are a group of people who see that reactive approaches to at-risk children and poverty are not effective, yet these are community issues we cannot ignore. Our group works together to meet the needs of families in a holistic approach that is inclusive and allows families the freedom to create their own plan to live radically and thrive in their community. 

Proactive Approach

Radical Life walks alongside families who are struggling with poverty and loss of custody of their children. We seek to prevent children going into the foster care system whenever it is safe and stable for them to remain at home. In order to prevent kids going into state custody, we must address the issues facing families before removal is needed. Working with schools, churches, and community organizations, families can be referred to our program and start to create an environment where all family members thrive in a safe and stable home. Allowing families that are struggling to become the Leaders in the fight against poverty and custody loss, we will create plans that are effective and lifestyle changes that are lasting for generations to come. 

Evidence-based Programming

At Radical Life, we use the Getting Ahead in a Just Getting By World curriculum, which has tremendous success nation-wide. Radical Life is partnering with Youth Core Ministries (YCM), a group already utilizing this material in 12 sites all over Kansas, as well as one site in Illinois. Since Youth Core Ministries started, there has been an increased combined income of $2,993,949. Working with YCM as our fiscal agent and as our 501 (c) (3), we are able to bring this evidence-based programming to Lyon County to resolve poverty within our Leading Families.  Click here to find out more about Youth Core Ministries.

Our Staff Positions include:

Director / Coach ~ Lindsay Smith 

Resource Coordinator / Coach ~ Mary Hernandez 

Community Liaison ~ Sydney Farney

Childcare Coordinators ~ Josh and Gerri Blaisdell