Emergency Assistance and Housing Admin
Safety Net for People of All Faiths
People come through our doors when they are experiencing hard times. There may have been a job loss, serious illness or an unexpected expense. They are struggling to feed their families. They can’t afford their medication and the monthly rent. They need help.
Since 1965, our Emergency Assistance Program has played a significant role in the community, providing a safety net for people of all faiths who are trying to make ends meet. Services include meeting the immediate, basic survival needs of families with low-incomes so they have enough food to prevent going to bed hungry; rent money to avoid eviction and homelessness; water to bathe in or prepare food; electricity to run a refrigerator and lights; and gas to heat their homes and cook.
Once the urgent needs are met, our case managers help those we serve identify long-term solutions that lead to self-sufficiency. If eligible, they are connected with government programs including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Women Infants and Children (WIC) and other resources that may be beneficial.
Financial education is a key component for regaining economic stability. Counseling and classes are offered on topics such as how to budget, ways to reduce credit card debt, steps to establishing a positive relationship with a bank or other financial institution and more.
Now, more than ever, we need your help...
local families need your help.
During last fiscal year alone, some of the services we provided through our Emergency Assistance Centers included:
food assistance 248,480 times
housing assistance 3,714 times
utility assistance 8,627 times
clothing assistance 17,326 times
financial education 34,260 times
Emergency assistance programs are available at eight Emergency Assistance Centers — services vary by location, but all offer the services listed below. All centers are located in fully accessible buildings where those we serve may visit or make an appointment. There are no fees for services provided.
Help Your Neighbors
Catholic Charities works to ensure families—regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or circumstances—have the support they need.
We value the dignity of those we serve, offering a self-shopping food pantry. Every 30 days, shoppers may pick items appropriate for their families’ dietary and cultural needs, choosing from a variety of high-quality, perishable and non-perishable foods including fresh fruits and vegetables. Every day, we offer bread to anyone who comes into our EAC in need of food. We also carry a limited selection of personal care items in our pantry including shampoo, soap, toothpaste, toilet paper, diapers, deodorant and laundry detergent.
We offer either a single or series of nutrition classes using ingredients available in our food pantry to assist families with meals that are nutritious and affordable. These on-site classes are taught by K-State Extension Services, Harvesters, Just Food or our case manager. Samples may be on-hand for taste tests following a cooking demonstration. Recipes are available to recreate the dish at home.
MASS FOOD DISTRIBUTION
We team up with Harvesters and other community agencies at various Catholic Charities locations to do a pop-up pantry. Healthy perishable foods, including fruits and vegetables and refrigerated items, are given out to residents.
We help with basic utility and rent payments; vital prescriptions; and medical supply expenses. Also, we screen for safety net programs such as SNAP (food stamps) and WIC (Women Infants Children).
We provide basic financial education and offer budget coaching and guidance on topics including starting a debt reduction plan, establishing a relationship with a banking institution and applying for available resources. We also offer Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) to those who meet income qualifications or persons with disabilities. Volunteers are IRS-certified and provide free, basic tax preparation.
COMMUNITY HEALTH SERVICES
We strive to alleviate the gaps that exist when it comes to accessing quality health care. We help families overcome those barriers by providing and coordinating health and mental health services with community partners. Services include blood pressure screenings, pregnancy health monitoring, dental clinics and more.
We post job openings, assist with job searches and access to transportation, as well as make direct referrals to hiring companies. We also offer interview tips and guidance about how to dress for success.
We provide gently used clothing through either an on-site clothing closet or vouchers to local thrift stores. Items may include pants, shirts and shoes to meet the needs of those who require an outfit for a job interview; back-to-school wear for their children; or seasonal items to stay warm or keep cool.
We resolve not only emergency needs, but have case managers who work one-on-one to identify long-term solutions that lead to self-sufficiency.
We assist those who may be, or who are at risk for, experiencing homelessness, directing them to community partners who can provide transitional and rapid rehousing support.
COMMODITY SUPPLEMENTAL FOOD PROGRAM (CSFP)
We provide an extra box of healthy food every month to seniors aged 60 years and older who meet eligibility guidelines.
We pair trained, compassionate volunteers with homebound seniors ages 60+ who live alone, as well as those with disabilities, who need caring, friendly people to visit, call or lend a helping hand.
This article was first published in the Hiawatha World. Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas Mobile Resource Bus visits Brown County several times throughout the year. They offer a variety of resources and support – including [...]