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A community that is transformed as it empowers the vulnerable to lead lives of dignity and self determination.

Inspired by the Gospel mandate, Catholic Charities transforms lives and communities through hope-filled care, services and advocacy.


Interesting Facts

  • Since 1879, Catholic Charities of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Inc., has touched the lives of millions of individuals and families by providing social services regardless of race, gender, economic or religious background.
  • Catholic Charities in Kansas City, Missouri, was founded in 1879.
  • Although named Catholic Charities, more than 75% of those served are not of Catholic faith.
  • Catholic Charities served more than 150,000 individuals in 2011-12 with food, shelter, and utilities along with hope-filled services of more than 60 community-focused programs.
  • Catholic Charities administrative and fundraising costs are impressively among the lowest in the region.
  • Catholic Charities continues to earn an aggregate client satisfaction score of more than 98% in its annual Continued Quality Improvement assessments.
  • Catholic Charities of Kansas City-St. Joseph is accredited through the Council on Accreditation, a comprehensive process by which an organization completes a thorough self-study and on-site review by trained Peer Reviewers. Catholic Charities has achieved this highest recognition for delivering quality child and family services, behavioral healthcare services, and community support and education services that comply with nationally recognized standards of best practice.
  • Catholic Charities-USA is the nation`s largest private network of social service agencies.

Catholic Charities History
With the earliest settlers, Catholic missionaries cared for society`s sick, widowed and orphaned. These caregivers were the first Catholic "charities." Some of the milestones included:

  • 1727 Ursuline sisters begin taking in orphans
  • 1809 Sister Elizabeth Seton opens an orphanage and free school for poor children
  • 1800`s Ethnic parishes provide services for immigrant peoples
  • 1800`s Religious orders establish child care and aging institutions

By 1900, more than 800 Catholic institutions served society`s most vulnerable — dependent children, prisoners, the elderly, the sick and those with disabilities. Motivated by a need to build solidarity, a group of Catholic social service providers met in 1910. Billed as the first National Conference for Catholic Charities, this group believed it was their mission to be "attorneys for the poor." At this meeting, a network for Catholic Charities bureaus was formed. By 1922, 35 bureaus opened across the nation. In 1937, the number grew to 68.

Today, more than 1,400 agencies, institutions and organizations make up the Catholic Charities network. Catholic Charities USA is the nation`s largest network of private social service providers.

History of Catholic Charities of Kansas City-St. Joseph
Locally, the commitment to organize Catholic charitable work took root with the establishment of orphanages by Father Bernard Donnelly in the Kansas City Diocese in 1879 and the St. Joseph Diocese in 1880. In 1917, Bishop Thomas Lillis merged several Catholic charitable institutions into a single diocesan effort. These early charities included orphanages, homes for the aged and young women away from home.

Over the years, the name has changed from the Catholic Welfare Bureau to Catholic Community Services to Catholic Charities of Kansas City-St. Joseph. However, despite the name changes, the organization has remained true to the Church`s mission — to bring Christ`s love into people`s lives in a tangible way.

Code of Ethics
Catholic Charities Code of Ethics is based on a fundamental ethical value that our agency carries out its moral obligations as a corporate entity which is, essentially, to implement the social mission of the Church and to assure that all of its policies and activities are conducted in an ethically responsible manner. 

Notice of Privacy Practices
It is the goal of Catholic Charities to ensure client health information is protected as required by law. View the Privacy Practices Policy to learn how medical information may be used, disclosed and accessed.