Oppenstein Brothers Foundation Awards a $50,000 Grant to Metro Lutheran Ministries (MLM)

Metro Lutheran Ministries (MLM) was recently awarded a $50,000 grant from Oppenstein Brothers Foundation to support the new Northland Service Center.

The new Northland Service Center will increase MLM’s ability to provide direct services which promote self-sufficiency for disadvantaged people in Clay and Platte counties.  The new Northland Service Center will be a visible and strong anchor in North Kansas City, and a beacon to those in economic crisis who need a lifeline.  A new 4,300 square foot Service Center will be created through a renovation of the former sanctuary of St. James Lutheran Church.  Over 3,460 square feet of the former sanctuary will be renovated for the new Service Center and an additional 840 square feet will be added through construction to the existing space.  This Service Center will have locations for food storage, three offices for case management, a reception and waiting room for clients, a bathroom, additional storage space, and room to grow.  A dock and ramp will be added to aid food deliveries.

Case management at the Northland location will be expanded so that MLM will be able to serve the increasing numbers of families and individuals in crisis.  Currently, the staff mostly focus on the immediate needs of clients, including food and rent/utility assistance.  The new Service Center will allow staff to provide housing placement services and more long-term intensive case management assistance.  MLM’s Stability Initiative provides six months of case management assistance to families.  Throughout this case management, families receive decreasing financial support over time, but increased financial literacy knowledge and community resource support.  The lower level of the Northland Service Center will be renovated to house the future Learning to Earning program.  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.

Founded in 1971, Metro Lutheran Ministry (MLM) is a social service agency with a mission to “affirm the right of all people to food, clothing and shelter, while promoting self-sufficiency and hope through direct services and client advocacy”.  MLM helps disadvantaged people of all races, religions and nationalities in the urban areas of Jackson, Clay and Platte counties in Missouri and Wyandotte and Johnson counties in Kansas.  MLM provides food, clothing, rent and utility assistance, education and employment assistance to over 20,000 unduplicated individuals each year.  These services are provided using a holistic approach with strengths and outcome-based counseling and case management, which guide receptive clients toward greater independence and self-reliance.