South Kansas City nonprofit launches campaign to help homelessness
In just one day this October, Community Assistance Council (CAC) received 80 phone calls from south Kansas City residents facing possible eviction or utilities shut offs – facing homelessness or a cold, dark home.
“We don’t see 80 everyday, but the trend overall is nearly double the number of calls coming in from a year ago, and many of those are brand new to assistance,” said CAC executive director Rachel Casey. “The vast majority lost jobs due to the pandemic and were getting by with the additional unemployment. Now they may have a new job lined up, but there’s back rent and bills due. Add to that a parent needing to be with children schooling from home and families are in impossible situations.”
In south Kansas City, CAC is the frontline of homelessness prevention, providing emergency rent or utilities assistance when there is an eviction or cut-off notice, food, diapers, medical support, life skills classes and client assessment and referrals to other key community partners for services CAC doesn’t provide.
From Jan. 1 to Sept. 30, 2020, Community Assistance Council (CAC) provided emergency services for 4,006 individuals from 1,151 families.
For 2020, through the end of September, CAC helped keep 825 individuals in their homes with the heat, light and water on.
This month, CAC kicks off A Home for the Holidays campaign, instead of its annual fall Gala, to raise funds specifically for homelessness prevention. The Feist Charitable Foundation will match funds up to $10,000. Visit www.cackc.org for more information.
For CAC’s emergency rent and utility assistance, clients must live in the service area of south Kansas City –including all of Hickman Mills and Center and Kansas City part of Grandview School Districts, meet income guidelines of 150% or less of federal poverty levels, and generally have an eviction or cut-off notice.
In addition to rent and utilities, the agency offers services to help stretch budgets and meet other family needs, including food distribution, diapers and pull-ups, medicines and medical devices, and life skills classes.
CAC was established in 1976 and serves all or part of 12 ZIP codes in Kansas City, Mo., from 85th Street South, including a population of more than 85,000. Any contributions may be mailed to CAC, 10901 Blue Ridge Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64134 or online at http://www.cackc.org.