2014 and 2015, a new Service Center for MLM will be built to increase MLM's ability to serve the Northland community. This Service Center will have locations for food storage, multiple offices for case management, a reception and waiting room for clients, a bathroom, and additional storage space. Case management at the Northland location will be expanded so that MLM is able to serve increasing numbers of families and individuals in crisis. This includes food, permanent supportive housing, rent and utility assistance, and some of the emergency needs of families in crisis. In addition, the basement will be renovated to accommodate the Learning to Learning Program as it expands into the Northland. Learning to Earning is a client-focused education, financial literacy and employment services program for those without basic job readiness skills or financial stability. Annually the program provides highly individualized instruction, GED preparation, employment services and case management support for approximately 300 committed individuals looking to improve their lives.
MLM’s Northland Community Services program has been located in a small house across from St. James Lutheran Church since 1986. The upstairs comprises four rooms: a reception area and waiting room with less than half a dozen chairs for clients, a more private room where one staff person can work one-on-one confidentially with clients on case management services, a small kitchen, and a break room. This small space limits the number of volunteers and staff who can work in the space at a time. It also restricts the number of clients who can be served by MLM. Due to the age of the home, maintenance and repairs are costly and frequent. Recent repairs include fixing a ceiling which leaks due to roof problems, and flooding in the basement. A sump pump has been installed. MLM anticipates this new space would increase the efficiency of services, allow staff to provide more privacy to clients receiving services, and would allow MLM to expand the services it provides to the community in the future.
Depending upon the needs of each family or individual coming for assistance, Metro Lutheran Ministry (MLM) provides multiple programs to address the immediate needs and long-term solutions of those in poverty in the urban core of Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas City, Kansas. Like most nonprofits that serve the poor and homeless of our community, we have experienced a dramatic increase in demand from people over the past five years who found themselves in crisis. Unemployment, loss of housing, utility shut off, and lack of food have all brought people to our doors hoping we could say “yes.” MLM has a core commitment to serving poor and homeless families in the urban core. Programs are supported by an annual development plan that includes federal, state, and local government funding, foundation and corporate support, as well as contributions from area churches and individuals.