William T. Kemper Foundation Awards $60,000 to Metro Lutheran Ministries (MLM)

Metro Lutheran Ministries (MLM) was recently awarded a $60,000 grant from the William T. Kemper Foundation to support renovations to their Northland Community Service Center.

A new Service Center for MLM will be built to increase MLM’s ability to serve the Northland community. 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 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.  MLM is also preparing the lower level of the Northland Service Center to potentially house an expansion of its 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.

In 1971, Lutheran congregations in Kansas City established Metro Lutheran Ministry (MLM) with the motivation to minister to the poor, homeless, elderly and disabled.  Throughout its history, MLM has been one of Kansas City’s pioneering social service agencies, organizing innovative and effective social service and emergency assistance programs to meet the needs of the poorest of the poor.  Metro Lutheran Ministry (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 uses a holistic approach with strengths and outcome-based counseling and case management, which guide receptive clients toward greater independence and self-reliance.