Answers to frequently asked questions.
We’ve compiled answers to some commonly asked questions below. However, please reach out to one of our staff members, either a leadership team member or program staff, if you would like more information.
Our goal is “to serve and to lift”. Here is some basic, practical information about how we assist.
Are all Catholic Charities the same?
No. There are 167 Catholic Charities nationwide. Each location has their own grants, funding and focus areas. For example, there are four Catholic Charities in the state of Missouri and four just over the state line in Kansas, so be sure to ask specifically for Catholic Charities of Kansas City-St. Joseph.
What counties do you cover?
We cover 27 counties – Andrew, Atchison, Bates, Buchanan, Caldwell, Carroll, Cass, Clay, Clinton, Daviess, DeKalb, Gentry, Grundy, Harrison, Henry, Holt, Jackson, Johnson, Lafayette, Livingston, Mercer, Nodaway, Platte, Ray, St. Clair, Vernon, and Worth.
Do you help only Catholics?
No, we help EVERYONE!
In fact, 85% of people we serve do not identify as Catholic.
What services do you provide?
We are a multi-service organization (MSO) which means we do a lot of stuff!
In order to make it digestible, we’ve broken down our services into 4 pillars. These 4 pillars represent a kind of “surround service” for eradicating poverty one person at a time:
- Welcome Center – Emergency Assistance
- Children & Family Services – Adoption, Child Development & Assessment, Parenting
- Employment Services – Job Readiness and Retention, Financial Literacy
- Housing Services – Permanent housing for low-income seniors, disabled persons and veterans
What happens if Catholic Charities can’t meet my need?
If we can’t meet your need, we’ll refer you to one of the community allies within our extensive network.
Do you have to be unemployed in order to receive services?
No. A person may be underemployed or simply not earn a high enough wage and therefore still be in need.
Can you provide immediate shelter?
We focus on permanent housing therefore we do not offer immediate shelter and/or transitional housing. We can refer you to community organizations who offer these services.
Since you’re in permanent housing, does that mean Catholic Charities can get me a house?
We wish that was the case, but it’s a bit more complex than that. …
The Welcome Center serves as the agency’s single point of entry. Emergency assistance may bring a client to our office, but our robust wrap around services help lift families out of poverty.
How often can I receive Welcome Center services?
You can receive food and hygiene products every 30 days.
Financial Assistance can be received once a year.
Additional assistance can be sought but is limited based on funding.
Do I need to live in Missouri to receive Welcome Center services?
Yes, you should be a resident within one of our 27 counties.
If you live outside these boundaries, we can refer you to other resources.
Do I need to schedule an appointment with your Welcome Center?
Not for basic needs such as food and hygiene however, for Financial Assistance an appointment should be made in order to assure you qualify. A Welcome Center Resource Specialist will review qualifications with you.
How do I access Welcome Center services if I don’t have transportation?
We are on the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority bus route. You can check schedules at https://ridekc.org/ They will drop you off directly in front of our Kansas City office.
Also, elsewhere on our web site is a calendar of events outlining where our mobile unit will be conducting outreach. Check the schedule to see if we are in a parish or community partner organization near you.
Do you provide bus passes or other assistance through the Welcome Center?
We do provide bus passes for medical appointments and those for who are employed.
You will be required to show you are gainfully employed and have a valid appointment.
This is not an ongoing service of the Welcome Center.
A client can only receive a bus pass two times a year.
Bus passes consist of two, one-way ride passes.
We do not offer monthly bus passes.
Do you provide rent and utility assistance through the Welcome Center?
Yes, rent and utility assistance is a big part of our services.
In fiscal year 2019-2020, we provided over $1,000,000 in rent & utility assistance.
We begin taking telephone calls every Monday morning at 8:15 a.m.
Benefits are given on a first-come, first-served basis.|
Recipients must meet the following requirements:
- Bill must be in your name
- Assist up to $250 depending on funds available
- You may be required to attend a Financial Literacy class or Employment Services class
CHILDREN & FAMILY SERVICES
Our agency is built on the principles of the inherent worth and dignity of each human life. From this basic understanding, we provide a wide range of services designed to help young families throughout various stages of life.
I’m pregnant, can you help?
We offer a program called Mom’s Empowerment serving pregnant women from pre-birth up to their child’s first birthday. If you are a Missouri resident and meet the income guidelines, we definitely can help you.
Mothers are provided monthly, one-on-one, case management with a family development specialist located in our Kansas City or St. Joseph office. We tailor support and resources to meet each individual (and family’s) needs.
If you’d like to hear more, contact us at email@example.com or call 816-659-8285.
Do you help with housing?
Although we do not provide housing, if you are enrolled in any of our Children and Family Service programs, we can provide resources and referrals to assist you in locating possible housing options.
Can you help with my bills?
We can help with rent and utility assistance for those enrolled in our Mom’s Empowerment program.
To check on availability, please call:
Kansas City 816-221-4377
St. Joseph 816-232-2885
What help do you provide families with young children?
We offer families with young children a program called St. Germaine’s Little Lambs.
This program provides case management, education, and support for parents and guardians of children birth to five years of age. Once enrolled, we assist with child development, parenting support, and target resources and referrals to fit your needs. We also offer Parent Café’s at our St. Joseph location the second Wednesday of every month (10:30 a.m.). Parent Café’s focus on group parent education, connectivity, and fun.
If you’re interested in knowing more about this program, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 816-659-8285.
I think I was adopted through Catholic Charities; how can I be sure?
We’re happy to assist you in your discovery. We can perform non-identifying or correspondence searches per your request. Just contact our adoption team and we’ll walk you through the process.
Just call 816-659-8285 or email email@example.com
Over 73% of people walking into Catholic Charities each day are unemployed. Our Employment Services Program encourages clients, hones in on individual gifts and talents, and provides support to catalyze the employment process.
How do I register for Employment Services classes and/or Financial Literacy classes?
Classes are open to the public, no registration necessary. However, during the COVID pandemic, we have modified workshops and limited attendance to allow for social distancing. Call 816-221-4377 for our current in-person class schedule, or join Facebook Live presentations on our Facebook page.
Can anyone partake of the Employment Services or Financial Literacy classes?
Though we assist anyone who contacts us, our primary services are focused on those living at or below the poverty line.
What happened to the TurnAround Program for ex-offenders?
The TurnAround program was based on three federal grants that were successfully completed.
Just like TurnAround, our Employment Services department specializes in ex-offender population and continues to serve large groups of people coming out of prison and who might be on supervision with Missouri Probation and Parole, helping them overcome barriers to employment.
What does Financial Literacy consist of?
Financial literacy is a class offering basics on budgeting and money management. When needed, there is one-on-one assistance and coaching available as well. This class is beneficial to almost anyone!
How is Catholic Charities Employment Services different from any other agencies offering employment help?
Catholic Charities staff are trained to meet clients “where they are” while encouraging them to shift their mindset to achieve increased self-awareness and financial security. We are concerned with the development of the whole person not just landing a job.
If I have a job but don’t have the necessary items to start the job, can Catholic Charities help?
In the past, we’ve provided clothing, construction tools, steel-toed boots, bus passes, and other items to help future employees fully onboard with their new employer. However, this is limited based on funding. Please contact us at 816-659-8269 to determine what is available at the time of your need.
HOUSING (Seniors & Disabled)
Housing Services include permanent scattered-site housing and community housing across Kansas City and St. Joseph to chronically homeless, disabled, and low-income senior populations.
What are the qualifications for persons with disabilities in your Housing program?
You must be:
- 18 years or older
- Have a documented disability
- Have been homeless for a significant period of time (as determined by HUD standards)
- Completed an assessment by a local community agency which will determine your level of service need
What is the Housing wait list?
Part of the application process is an assessment, completed by a local community agency (examples here), which determines the level of service you may need. Once this assessment is complete, your name is placed on a community-wide waiting list and prioritized according to needs, as well as, the standards set by the local community.
Do I have to be Catholic to be part of the Housing Program?
Can I choose where I live?
This program is considered a “scattered site” program which means you can choose a place to live, provided it’s within financial and geographical program guidelines.
What counties are covered by the Housing Program?
Catholic Charities HUD grants cover the following areas
St. Joseph (Buchanan County)
Maryville (Nodaway County)
Northeast Metro Kansas City area (Clay, Platte, Ray and Lafayette Counties).
Our veterans team delivers on a Supportive Services for Veteran Families grant from the Veterans’ Administration, offering rapid-rehousing and wrap around services.
What is SSVF and how does one qualify?
Supportive Services for Veteran Families is a housing program for veterans experiencing homelessness. To become eligible for this program, the applicant must first:
- Be a veteran or a member of a veteran family.
- Have low income which means the household must be 50% or below Area Medium Income (AMI).
- The veteran must be either literally homeless or at risk of losing housing.
How does someone access the Emergency Assistance funds for veterans?
The veteran emergency assistance fund can be accessed by calling and asking for the Veteran Services department. To qualify, one must be a veteran or family member of a veteran, experiencing hardship in their lives. Veteran Services will review your options and determine whether Emergency Assistance funds would be a good fit.
Are we associated with Veteran Affairs (VA)?
Catholic Charities of Kansas City-St. Joseph is its own stand-alone 501(c)(3). The only association we have with the VA is that the Supportive Services for Veteran Families grant is contracted through the VA, enabling us to provide housing case management services to veterans experiencing homelessness.
What types of discharge statuses do we work with?
The Supportive Services for Veteran Families grant can work with all discharge statuses except dishonorable discharge or discharged/dismissed from the Armed Forces by reason of the sentence of a general court-martial.
AmeriCorps, which is a peer mentorship program at Catholic Charities of Kansas City-St. Joseph within the Veteran Services department, can serve all discharge statuses.
The Marketing department at Catholic Charities of Kansas City-St. Joseph seeks to communicate with donors, clients, and friends and family of the agency on every available platform.
Is your social media monitored 24/7?
No. We currently appear on four social media platforms – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter & Instagram.
We alert users through those platforms that we are not monitoring them 24/7, and they should not be used for emergency situations. If you find yourself in a life threatening emergency situation, please call 911. If you need to speak with someone about assistance with basic life needs during office hours, please call 816-221-4377 and we will route you to the appropriate staff person.
Or, here are a few other numbers to consider:
Suicide Prevention Hotline
Missouri Elder Abuse Hotline
Domestic Violence Hotline
How do I subscribe to your newsletters and/or podcasts?
If you haven’t already experienced it, this web site has a pop-up enrollment form asking you to subscribe to the To Serve & To Lift newsletters. Our print edition comes out 2x a year and is delivered to your mailbox, while the email edition comes out 9x a year and is delivered to your inbox.
If you no longer see the pop up form, simply send your contact information (email and physical address) to firstname.lastname@example.org
How do I remove my name from your mailing list?
Simply send your request to unsubscribe to email@example.com and we will remove you from our mail and email lists .
We rely on the generosity and financial support of our stakeholders to help eradicate poverty in our community.
What are the five ways I can give to Catholic Charities?
- Stocks Transfer (contact Susan Walker firstname.lastname@example.org for the details)
- IRA Distribution (contact IRA manager and ask for them to complete the distribution)
- Legacy Giving, Estate Plans (contact Susan Walker email@example.com for proper language)
- Pregnancy Resource Tax Credits (https://catholiccharities-kcsj.org/tax-advantaged-giving/)
- Cash donation (https://www.catholiccharities-kcsj.org/donate)
Are donations to Catholic Charities of Kansas City-St. Joseph tax deductible?
Yes. We are a nonprofit 501(c)(3), 509(a)(1) tax exempt public charity.
What is your charity’s “rating”?
We are a platinum level GuideStar participant, demonstrating our commitment to transparency.
You can read more about us at www.GuideStar.org
We are also reviewed and verified by the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation.
Where does your funding come from?
Approximately 50% of our funding comes from federal, state, and local/private grants and the other 50% comes from general contributions and special events.
Does the money I give to Catholic Charities go to the diocese?
No. We are a stand-alone, non-profit organization with separate finances and an independent Board of Directors. Therefore, money donated to Catholic Charities stays at Catholic Charities. We do not contribute monetarily to or share donations with the diocese.
Can I make a gift to a specific cause within Catholic Charities?
Yes. If you are passionate about a particular service we provide, you can specify funds go directly to helping that cause. Information about our four pillars of service and our impact on reducing poverty is available in the Services portion of this website.
How well have you used your funding?
We are an efficiently and effectively run 140-year-old organization. We steward every donation carefully so that we are able to deliver impactful programs and provide the infrastructure necessary to ensure they are well-run and operate with financial transparency.
Can I see your financial data?
Our federal tax return, the Form 990, is available on this website under Financials. You may also learn more about us on www.guidestar.org
We’re always looking for passionate, motivated people to join our team.
Where can I find a list of open positions at Catholic Charities of Kansas City-St. Joseph?
Visit to our career site.
Does Catholic Charities offer benefits to employees?
Yes. Catholic Charities offers a robust benefits package. Besides a compressed four-day work week (Mon -Thurs, 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.), staff accrue paid sick time, vacation, and holidays. Depending on individual needs, a person can choose from four options for medical coverage, two options for dental care, and two options for vision care. We also offer a 401k plan, life insurance coverage, short-term and long-term illness insurance, and an employee assistance program designed for those employees who encounter sudden and unforeseen obstacles in their life. For more information visit the staff benefits section.
Do I need to be Catholic to work at Catholic Charities?
No. We welcome talented professionals from all faiths and encourage them to join our staff.
Do you have a question we’ve missed? Submit it here. We’ll try to answer within 48 hours.