Metro Lutheran Ministries (MLM) recently received a grant for $35,000 from the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation – Linscomb Foundation to provide funding and support for the Community Care Program at MLM Northland.

For over 30 years, MLM Northland has provided emergency assistance to poor and needy families and their children who are facing financial crisis and live in Clay and Platte counties. This assistance includes food and commodities to help feed these children and families as well as emergency payments to landlords or service providers for families facing eviction or who are in imminent danger of losing their utility services.  Through these payments, which are issued directly to landlords and utility service providers, families are able to stay in their homes, keep their utilities on and keep their children safe.

Beyond emergency assistance, MLM's Northland Coordinator helps clients identify their personal strengths to overcome barriers to income stability, and helps families and their children connect with available community services that address their specific needs. MLM Northland maintains contact with families on their path to self-sufficiency and assists each family uniquely toward that goal.  MLM Northland offers both immediate and sustaining resources to stabilize families in financial crisis, to help them manage limited resources efficiently, and to give them hope and a helping hand to break the cycle of poverty.

Rarely are families homeless or near homeless due to a single circumstance.  Job loss, domestic violence, or the death of a family member can accelerate the decline to the poverty level and some clients suffer from mental health disorders like depression, or substance abuse issues. The impact of the economy for those in poverty will be felt much longer than those in the middle class and oftentimes one-time emergency assistance is not enough to overcome the challenges that MLM's clients face.  For those who are experiencing poverty for the first time and are in urgent need of food and shelter, the maze of available resources is overwhelming, especially to families. MLM works with families to not only provide a safety net to break their fall, but also to consult with them about their needs on a regular basis, empowering them with solutions that will foster the journey back to self-sufficiency.

MLM Northland serves children and families from all races and religions who reside in Clay and Platte counties and whose incomes are at or below 1.5 times the federal poverty level. MLM Northland offers comprehensive services to promote self-sufficiency including intensive case management for homeless clients and families facing eviction, emergency medication assistance to North Kansas City School District students, budget and resume assistance, housing placement, and job agency referrals. This continuity of care, allows MLM Northland to address multiple risk factors for the clients served, preventing them from falling through the cracks.  MLM Northland routinely receives client referrals from area shelters, human service agencies, and United Way 2-1-1 for these additional services.