A Simple House
Although A Simple House is an inner-city Catholic mission to the homeless and poor, there is no food pantry, no clothes closet, no daily soup kitchen, no overnight housing. When it comes to these particular services, the poor and homeless are not necessarily without assistance within our area. Instead, the Catholic missionaries living at the house who participate in daily Mass, communal prayer, and voluntary poverty, spend their days visiting the poor and homeless where they are…much like Christ did. They offer friendship, prayer, encouragement, and assistance with life skills and related needs where appropriate.
Amethyst Place was created to provide services to poor, homeless, recovering women and their children. Most women who come to Amethyst Place face significant barriers due to lack of transportation, probation and parole, felony convictions, housing evictions, poor credit histories especially unpaid utility bills, and physical and mental disabilities. The goal of Amethyst Place is for each woman who leaves the program to have a sense of dignity and self-worth.
Amethyst Place developed a comprehensive database to begin collecting demographic and economic data on each resident. Amethyst Place now measures social change outcomes for each resident and then uses this information to determine where each resident has strengths and where to focus resources and energy in order to have the maximum benefit.
Catholic Radio Network
The injustice toward the dignity of the human person is often catalyzed by a lack of education and a lack of awareness. The Catholic Radio Network has introduced a Gabriel Billboard Campaign that is designed to effectively and efficiently promote morality and truth and by raising awareness about Catholic radio throughout our area.
Community Missions Corporation
Community Missions in St. Joseph has created a safe place for people experiencing homelessness and a transition from streets and riverbanks to permanent supportive housing at St. Joseph’s Haven and Juda House. Community Missions’ cold weather shelter is now open as a result of the generous support of donors and volunteers. From the interaction at this seasonal shelter, they create hope and opportunities for people to reconnect with family, with community, and begin that long journey of addressing barriers to stability.
Community Services League
Community Services League (CSL) has worked to provide economic security for the poor for 100 years. CSL provides help in four main areas: Income Supports, Employment Services, Financial Coaching, and Housing Counseling. CSL has 10 offices in Jackson County and serves 15,000 unique individuals annually.
Connecting for Good
Connecting for Good provides free and affordable Internet connectivity to low income families, teaching digital life skills classes and providing affordable refurbished PCs to under resourced people and nonprofit organizations. Current activities have focused on low income individuals living the Kansas City, Missouri's urban core, primarily East of Troost Avenue and the predominately Hispanic areas of the Westside. As a Microsoft Registered Refurbisher, they collect used computers to create high quality recycled PCs and then provide these devices to to qualified low income families for just $50.00.
Faith in Action
Faith in Action is a coalition of Christian congregations in St. Joseph, Catholic parishes and Protestant churches alike, along with local health care organizations working together to share the love of Christ through church volunteers meeting the needs of community members in an effort to allow them to remain independent. For more than seven years, this has included such things as transportation to appointments, providing ramps in homes to increase mobility, snow removal in the winter and yardwork in the summer, small financial assistance to cover the cost of a utility bill one month, and weekly phone calls just to say, “hello”.
Foundation for Inclusive Religious Education (F.I.R.E.)
The Foundation for Inclusive Religious Education (FIRE) is the only organization of its kind providing financial grants to schools within the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph to assist with the costs of Special Education services in an inclusive setting. During the school year, students with significant special needs at partner schools received direct support from para-educators funded in large part by FIRE. Additional students benefit from the presence of para-educators in classrooms. To create the very best educational outcomes and positive learning experiences, it’s critical for school community members / stake holders to more fully understand best practices and proven strategies for creating thriving inclusive learning environments. The overall objective of the "Light the FIRE" project is to optimize the success of inclusive learning environments through this type of education and training.
Holy Rosary Credit Union
It has always been the mission of Holy Rosary Credit Union to help their member-owners with personal financial-service needs but the organization has often been called "the melting pot credit union" because over its 70-year history it has been instrumental in welcoming new members from various cultural and ethnic groups arriving to our diocese. Though members have diverse backgrounds, they share a common bond of the Catholic faith, and today are members of one of the thirty Catholic parishes or membership groups that Holy Rosary currently serves in the Kansas City - St. Joseph diocese.
Jerusalem Farm strives to transform the lives of their members and the lives of those around them through the four cornerstones of Prayer, Community, Service and Simplicity as well as Catholic Social Teaching. Specifically, Jerusalem Farm is directly involved in two areas. They address the home-repair needs of their neighbors in the Historic Northeast neighborhoods of Kansas City, Missouri. Many families and individuals including single mothers, elderly, and disabled persons are on fixed incomes which barely provide for their necessities and when extra expenses come up, such as fixing a leaking roof, installing a handicap accessible shower or other home repair needs. Secondly, they host week-long retreats for high-school and college students that are focused on forming participants in their faith and in loving each other and God more fully. During the retreats the youth assist the members of Jerusalem Farm in their service of home-repair and they are trained in Catholic Social Teaching.
Morning Glory Café
Their mission is to “Uphold the inherent, God-given dignity in every human life by providing not only physical nourishment and basic needs, but also by fostering hope and self-worth in the most disadvantaged and forgotten members of society." Morning Glory Ministries, which began over thirty years ago as Cathedral Social Services to address the issue of hunger in the downtown area, has expand their services to include a weekend hot lunch program, Emergency Assistance, a breakfast program that has more than doubled the number of guests served each week. Morning Glory Café alone serves over 80,00 meals and the Emergency Assistance program helps thousands of its neighbors.
Since 1987, Mother’s Refuge has served more than 1,350 homeless, pregnant young women that are plagued by the injustice of an unstable, unsafe environment; physical, verbal and sexual abuse; poverty; and often pressured by family or the father to abort their unborn child. This level of homelessness leads to and continues a lack of education, income, and support structure. Most are behind academically, they lack work and successful life skills, and have no plans or goals for their future. Mother’s Refuge also provides a loving home that is safe from drugs and abuse. They provide nutritious meals, clothing, individual case management, 24-hour supervision and mentorship by trained women as house mothers, education, and a stable environment for the young and unborn.
North Central Missouri Business Facilitation
North Central Missouri Business Facilitation, founded in 2015, is a group of volunteers committed to championing the sustainable success of small businesses in the north and northeast part of our diocese in rural Harrison, Grundy, DeKalb, Davies, Caldwell and Clinton counties. NCMBF strives to support and champion local individuals in sustainable business enterprise through facilitated coaching and the assistance of a local community-wide think tank. The overall goal is to contribute to the stabilization and economic growth of the communities.
Northwest Missouri Enterprise Facilitation
Northwest Missouri Enterprise Facilitation, a group of over sixty volunteers who care passionately about preserving the economic success and sustainability of rural Northwest Missouri, was launched in 2006. This group of volunteers with a variety of skill sets and experiences, the NWMEF Board, meet monthly to provide feedback and assistance to the group’s facilitator who presents individual cases of current businesses and organizations being monitored by the group and proposed clients who are in need of assistance—like a combination board meeting and town hall. To date, over 650 entrepreneurs from Andrew, Atchison, Gentry, Holt, Nodaway and Worth Counties have been assisted.
One Heart Project
The One Heart Project is an activation campaign to mobilize individuals and organizations across America to participate in a movement to positively impact incarcerated and at-risk youth in the U.S., ages 13-19, in public schools, after school outlets and juvenile justice facilities, through two initiatives -- redirection and reentry.
In 2012, on one of Operation Breakthrough’s “The City You Never See” bus tours, in which riders are taken to areas of our community where children stand in line for food, working parents desperate for shelter break into abandoned buildings, and babies born into poverty struggle to survive, Sr. Berta shared her dream of starting a new program called “100 Jobs for 100 Moms”. One of the passengers on that bus took Sr. Berta up on the offer and hired two moms trapped in generational poverty and began a program of on-the-job mentoring. From this initial success, Operation Breakthrough has created transformational hope for moms and their children by helping to overcome employment barriers, encourage self-confidence, develop skills that lead to sustainable employment, and advance the family’s economic self-sufficiency.
Redemptorist Social Services Center
The mission of Redemptorist Social Services Center is to prevent a temporary crisis from becoming a permanent tragedy. The Center's programs of assistance stabilize individuals, families and neighborhoods, with long-term results benefiting the entire community.
Redemptorist Social Services Center has provided a lifeline to the poor and elderly of metropolitan Kansas City since 1986. Their comprehensive programs of Emergency Client Assistance, Senior Services, Legal Assistance and Health Maintenance address their most basic needs by providing over 1,900 critical client assists each month with shelter, utility and medical needs, food, clothing and transportation. The staff of Redemptorist Center offers a combined total of over 50 years of experience dedicated to making a substantial difference in the lives of people in crisis.
St. Gregory Barbarigo Nursing Home Ministry
Several times a month, members of St. Gregory Barbarigo Parish travel to area nursing homes and assisted living facilities to conducts Bible study and prayer groups for both Catholic and non-Catholic residents. Mass is offered at every nursing home and assisted living center by local priests and members of Conception Abbey Seminary and parish extraordinary Communion ministers make certain every Catholic resident receives the Eucharist once a week.
St. Matthew the Apostle Parish
St. Matthew the Apostle Parish, located in the Hickman Mills area of southeast Kansas City, has experiences an increase in the number of parish families with non-English-speaking parents and adults. It is difficult, if not impossible, to obtain employment, to provide for the needs of a family, or to even carry out daily tasks with such a barrier to basic communication. As a result, St. Matthew’s has begun an ESL (English as a Second Language) program with the Spanish-speaking parents of children enrolled in the Parish School of Religion. The program is offered at no cost to ensure that any parent who needs to learn English may benefit from the classes. Parishioners and retired Spanish teachers volunteer their time to instruct classes and then solicit feedback from the students about what is working for them, what is not, and what changes can be implemented to make sure the needs of the adults are effectively met.
St. Therese Little Flower Parish
St. Therese Little Flower Parish, at 58th & Euclid, is a constant point of light and hope in the Blue Hills community. A large segment of the residents within the parish boundaries have, at one time or another, turned to the parish in times of dire need and many on an ongoing basis. The parish has actively sought out and embraced partnerships with local organizations that help broaden the scope of the services they can offer to the elderly in their community. Seniors who were already supporting themselves and other members of their extended family on a subsistence income, now find themselves dealing with additional economic and long-term health concerns. During the week, the parish hall now serves as a Senior Center operated by Catholic Charities, where home delivery meals originate for over 100 people each day, and congregate meals and activities are provided to dozens more.
The Tamale Kitchen addresses the root causes of injustice towards the dignity of the person, particularly, women within the Northeast Kansas City Hispanic community. Limited education, unemployment, and lack of community leadership roles are just a few of the challenges they face. Specifically, as cited by a recent Greater Kansas City Hispanic Needs Assessment, the challenges also include a “hesitancy to integrate with the larger communities; a lack of understanding of community standards and mores, expectations, laws; and lack of communication for the immigrant community.” The Tamale Kitchen provides a pathway to self-sufficiency by drawing upon the talents of the women, paying livable wages and empowering the women to develop leadership skills and engage in the broader community.