Over 19,000 people in Douglas County struggle to get enough food to eat. At times, they’re forced to make difficult choices between feeding their families and paying their rent.
Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas is here to help. Our Lawrence Family Support Center (FSC) is available to low-income individuals and families who need food or assistance with basic utility payments, housing, clothing or medical prescriptions.
The help goes beyond meeting immediate needs. An on-site case manager works to identify solutions and resources that will lead to long-term change.
GIVING HELP. GIVING HOPE.
Although we had been serving the area, it was determined that an on-site Family Support Center (formerly named Emergency Assistance Center) could directly meet the communities’ needs. Our first Lawrence EAC was housed in the parish offices of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in 2010. Five years later, the parish purchased a Victorian home across the street for the FSC, and the new offices were dedicated in March 2015. The parish continues to provide generous support, making a monthly financial contribution for food and utilities, and a gift in-kind for clothing. They have food drives throughout the year, as do many of our parishes. They also provide holiday assistance with Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
This past fiscal year, demand for services continued to grow in Lawrence. We experienced a 55% increase in the number of individuals served. Food assistance was provided 15,911 times — nearly double that of the previous year. Distribution of gently used clothing grew 160% while participation in financial education tripled.
We could not assist our neighbors in need without the support and generosity of individuals, businesses, parishes and foundations who step up to organize food drives, make gifts-in-kind, volunteer in our food pantry and make financial contributions. We are truly blessed.