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Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas

About Us

who we are

Serving Northeast Kansas for Over 65 Years

Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas serves the most vulnerable men, women and children of all faiths across 21 counties. A ministry of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, we provide innovative programs and solutions that stabilize and strengthen individuals and families, moving them from a place of needing help to one of having hope.

We offer more than 30 programs across 21 counties of Northeast Kansas. Our work is founded on three pillars: Family Stabilization, Family Strengthening and Respect Life Services.

History

The year was 1956. Archbishop Edward J. Hunkeler, Monsignor John Horvat and Thomas Daly met to discuss the establishment of a new organization within the Archdiocese. Its sole focus would be on the management of “Catholic charitable activities,” especially the adoption of children into Catholic homes. On October 23rd of that year, a non-profit named Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas was formed.

A year later, Monsignor Horvat was appointed to work full-time as Catholic Charities’ Archdiocesan Director. With the hiring of two social workers who had backgrounds in family and children services, he set up a formal office in Wyandotte County. Initially, he and his staff focused their energies on a single program, adoption. By the time his successor, Fr. Finnerty, took over, people were coming to Catholic Charities for food, clothing and financial assistance. Unable to afford a larger staff to help him with these things, he began recruiting volunteers. With their help, the first Family Support Center (FSC), formerly known as an emergency assistance center (EAC), became a reality in 1965.

Today, the organization continues to be a thriving ministry of the Archdiocese, but operates under the name of Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas. Assistance is provided to struggling individuals and families of all faiths throughout a 21-county service area. Staff has grown from just a couple of employees, to over 200. Volunteers remain crucial to our work – assisting in food pantries, sorting clothing, participating in mobile food distributions, tutoring refugees, serving as financial mentors and more.

The number of programs has expanded to over 30. The agency continues to match newborn babies with their ‘forever families’ through adoption and counsel those faced with an unexpected pregnancy. The number of FSCs has grown to locations in Atchison, Lawrence, Leavenworth, Olathe, Overland Park and Topeka. All feature a mini-mart style, self shopping food pantry. In addition, there is a large food distribution warehouse, Hope Distribution Center, which also features a food pantry. We go beyond addressing only immediate needs. Case managers at each FSC work with those we serve to develop a practical plan that will lead to self-sufficiency. For those living in outlying areas, services are brought to them through a Resource Bus stocked with food, and a case manager on board to provide assistance with unpaid utility bills, housing, medical prescriptions and more. 

Since 1975, Catholic Charities has welcomed and resettled refugees from across the world forced to flee their country due to religious or ethnic persecution. We offer English language classes, citizen preparation, case management, employment support and more. Our New Roots farm training program empowers immigrants, refugees and English language learners. In 2010, we began offering professional immigration legal services to low-income, foreign-born individuals and their families through our La Luz Immigration Clinic.  

In 2008, Catholic Charities assumed operation of Shalom House, a shelter for 24 unhoused men. In 2022, Catholic Charities began a major undertaking renovating the former Sanctuary of Hope in an effort to fight poverty and serve more men experiencing homelessness. Today, the Shalom House Men’s Transitional Living Program can serve up to 60 men providing not only food and shelter, but long-term programming that will change the trajectory of their lives.

Catholic Charities has evolved over the last 60+ years to better serve and provide solutions for the struggles and barriers of our neighbors. We have developed more strengthening programs that focus on education, job placement and financial basics. Throughout all our growth, the founding mission remains at the heart of our organization, to strengthen individuals and families and move them forward by providing help and giving hope.

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Serve With Us

Our mission would not be possible without our dedicated volunteers, generous donors and talented staff. Join us today to combat poverty and make a difference in Northeast Kansas.

More About Us

Mission & Values

We serve our neighbors, of all faiths, through Help, Hope and Hospitality. Learn more about our mission and what inspires us to service.


Our Mission

Catholic Identity Statement

Founded by the Roman Catholic Church to meet the needs of the most vulnerable in our communities, Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas looks to Sacred Scripture and the traditions and teachings of the Church to guide its mission.

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Diversity Equity and Inclusion Statement

At Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas, our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (for staff, volunteers, board, customers and those we serve) is foundational to our Catholic Identity and belief in God’s unconditional love for every human person.

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Our Impact

Every year, Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas animates the Gospel by putting love into action. See our impact over the past fiscal year and the difference we are making in our community.

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Related Organizations

Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas

We are a ministry of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, and our service area aligns with the 21 counties of the Archdiocese.

Please visit the Archdiocesean website for a list of parishes and ministries.

Catholic Charities USA

Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas is part of Catholic Charities USA, a member of the international Caritas organization.

Visit CCUSA to find other Catholic Charities locations across the United States.

Catholic Charities of Kansas City-St. Joseph

The greater Kansas City metro area and its outlying counties cover both Kansas and Missouri. Catholic Charities of Kansas City-St. Joseph serves the Northeastern Missouri area.

If you reside in Missouri, please visit CCKCSJ for services.

Called to Love

Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas is answering the call to animate the Gospel by putting love into action. We are grateful for your generous support of time, talent and treasure.

Follow Us

Are you following our #40Ways40Days social media campaign? 

@catholiccharitiesks President and CEO Lauren Solidum shared with @theleavenkc how you can take action and make this Lenten season most meaningful for yourself and others by following along! 

Click the #LinkInBio to learn more.
This Lent, you can join forces with @catholiccharitiesks in uplifting individuals who are pregnant and/or going through the long process of adoption by sharing your own personal story or offering emotional support. 

#40Ways40Days
Have you ever struggled to answer God's call to "love your neighbor?" As we navigate this Lenten season, let us embark on a journey of building empathy so that we can become more loving towards others. 

Click the #LinkInBio to view our agency video and learn how @catholiccharitiesks is answering God's call to love. 

#40Ways40Days
Employees from Wagstaff & Cartmell Law firm recently spent time sorting items at our Hope Distribution Center food warehouse. Their hard work and dedication are truly appreciated - thank you for making a difference in our community! #LoveInAction
Over the last fiscal year, 61 expectant mothers received counseling, education, baby items and referrals to community resources through our Pregnancy Maintenance Initiative program and 12 families connected with us through our Adoption program. 

The impact of your generosity has the ability to transform the lives of expectant parents, newborns and adoptive couples throughout Northeast Kansas. This Lent, please consider making a donation to support the critical programs offered by @catholiccharitiesks.

#40Ways40Days #LinkInBio
Put your #FaithIntoAction this Lent by organizing a baby supply drive for expectant mothers participating in our Pregnancy Maintenance Initiative (PMI) program!
 
PMI welcomes donations for newborn essentials such as diapers, clothing, blankets, bottles, pack ‘n plays and car seats. We kindly ask that any items donated be new or unused for health and safety precautions. 

To donate, email outreach@catholiccharitiesks.org.

#40Ways40Days
Catholic Schools Week may be over, but the impact of St. Patrick Catholic School's generosity is still being felt! Thanks to the school's amazing students and staff, 665 boxes of macaroni and cheese were collected to help feed over 1,500 individuals in our community. 💙🧀🍴
Eternal God, creator and sustainer of life, bless us with the courage to defend all life from conception to natural death. Bless us with the strength to respect all peoples from east to west, from north to south, so that we may truly follow the call of Jesus to be neighbor. We ask this in the name of Jesus, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Credit: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (@USCCB) 

#40Ways40Days