The staff and board at City Union Mission believe in forward planning and proactively responding to opportunities in the outreach to the homeless community. Many times, opportunities can be seen as problems. Even through daily routine tasks, City Union Mission keeps its vision and direction focused on the future anticipating God working in His own way and time. The staff and board have wrestled with difficult decisions regarding the future, especially as we strive to meet the needs of the poor and homeless in the Kansas City area. We appreciate the financial and prayer support provided to City Union Mission over the past 90 plus years. Please consider how you can be a part of meeting our future needs.
City Union Mission has long held to a standard of high integrity whether that is in how we use the funds and goods donated to how we seek to help the homeless make changes from the inside out so they are equipped to live new, productive lives that bring honor and constructive change. We believe it to be self-evident that a changed life comes from such a core, spiritual change because we have seen the fruits of such a strategy for more than 90 years. We ask that you continue to pray for City Union Mission and support such a stand that may not always be popular.
The purpose of the Career Development Program is to build a successful future as a contributing member of society, as a family member, as an employee and at a local church. The program is a big part of preventing the cycle of hopelessness and homelessness our clients have usually been trapped in. Career Development is seven weeks of in-depth courses and one-on-one counseling the purpose of which is to help clients gain the skills necessary to land and keep career minded, quality employment.
If the client needs additional education or training prior to entering the workforce the steps necessary to achieve this are addressed during the individual meetings. The workshops help the client determine what kind of job / career he wants to pursue. Additionally, we work with clients individually on resumes, interview skills and job search plans. If the client needs additional education or training prior to entering the workforce the steps necessary to achieve this are addressed during the individual meetings. The final step is the job search itself. This is a full-time endeavor with the client held accountable for conducting a serious and professional job search. Over 90 % of our clients land quality employment. But overall, the objective isn’t just getting a job but, instead, to prepare the person to successfully re-enter the work force with the skills necessary to build a career.
A majority of clients come to the City Union Mission's recovery programs unemployed. In addition, many don't possess the skills required to secure gainful employment. One key goal of Career Development is to teach clients the skills and strategies necessary to secure employment in a very competitive job hunting environment. After completion of the rigorous 7-week curriculum clients begin the full-time job search process. Over the last 3 years more than 90 % of the clients who complete Career Development secure living wage jobs in their chosen field while on the program.
Each of our program clients gets the benefit of our Career Development program. The Career Development Department works to help the client gain and keep gainful, long-term employment. This is achieved through classes, one-on-one career counseling sessions, expert volunteers and hard work on the client’s part. Long-term success is defined as maintaining a living wage employment 1 year after completion of one of the long-term programs. Over the past 3 years, Career Development has achieved an 80% success rate.
The Career Development and aftercare departments maintain ongoing contact with Program graduates as much as is possible. The percentages stated above are derived from status updates received from past graduates. Career Development also monitors and analyzes qualitative success as well, primarily through client meetings and follow up. The department is diligent to stay up-to-date on hiring and employment trends in the marketplace to help keep career counseling, materials and job search strategies current.
Shari, a military veteran and mother of 3 adult children, was always the one her family turned to when they needed help. But she got sick and was unable to work for a while.
Shari learned her illness was chronic and progressive and she was unable to return to work. She lost her apartment and lived in her car before her disability assistance began. She then took in her 2 young grandkids when her daughter couldn’t care for them. She had another financial setback and couldn’t afford the house they were in.
Shari and her grandchildren came to the Mission. Shari and her grandkids received wholesome meals, quiet, safe to sleep as a family unit which helped her emerge from the fog of homelessness. She is now taking some classes we offer that help break the bond of homelessness.
Penny’s ex-husband, Mark, became an alcoholic about 10 years into their marriage and only over time did she recognize the signs: agitation, deception, DUIs and lost jobs. “After a while you realize you’re dealing with full-blown alcoholism,” she says.
Mark tried various treatment and rehabilitation programs. “There were so many lies,” she shares. Finally, after nearly 25 years, she’d had enough. “You realize that your whole life, your whole marriage, everything about you revolves around alcoholism. I said to myself, ‘I’m not doing this anymore.’” She told Mark he had to go.
Mark came to City Union Mission where he joined our Christian Life Program. He has been sober for more than a year and is now a student in our Servant Leadership Institute where he is training for a career in ministry. “The Mission gave him a place to go with a roof over his head and food and it now offers him the hope of meaningful work; not just menial labor to make ends meet, but employment where he feels like he is making a contribution to society and doing good within doing good within God’s will,” Penny says. “I thank God every day that Mark is safe and has a direction to go.”
We were pretty much embraced and welcomed in with open arms. Every morning there were classes. I enjoyed them. I loved them. The things that we learned and picked up there, we apply them to our lives now. They gave you extra time if you needed it to get things done to get yourself back on your feet. The place will forever hold a place in my heart because of what they allowed me and my family to do and what they allowed me and my family to just get our lives restored.
I dare not adventure to where our lives would be and what would have happened to us and our kids. I know it would not have been a good outcome. Being able to resume independent living, it’s a reason to smile. We’re working. We’re doing great. The kids are fine. They’re happy. They’re doing great.
City Union Mission allowed us to restore our lives, strengthen our faith and fulfill our dreams. We thank God every day and the entire time the City Union Mission was there in our time of need.
When Michael Merritt arrived on our doorstep that frigid January night, he was sick and malnourished. We gave him a hot shower, a filling meal and a warm bed. He saw one of our counselors. Then, at our free medical clinic, we helped him get his diabetes under control. “I stuck to myself and didn’t talk to anybody,” Michael says of those first few weeks. But before long, he began to change. Through the Mission’s Job Hunter’s program, he landed a job. By summer Michael had saved enough to leave the Mission, but after relapsing on drugs he returned for help. Michael experienced a dramatic transformation. He spent his days in study, life-skills classes and work therapy and received counseling, educational assistance and job training. Michael overcame his drug addiction. About a year later, he graduated a new man, ready to start the next phase of his journey.
"Kevin" was being expelled from Lincoln Prep for his failing grades in the 2014-2015 school year. He had given up and did not care about anything. Kevin lives alone with his grandmother and has so since his mother passed away when he was six. Our intervention plan for Kevin was counseling once a week, individual tutoring four days a week, and parent and teacher visits every quarter. Kevin ended the school year with 5 A's and one C. Kevin's desire was to return to Lincoln so we went to the school and talked to the principal and counselor. They checked Kevin's grades and agreed to allow him back. We took an application to his grandmother to fill out and we returned it to the school. Kevin is looking forward to being back at his old school with his old friends. He is very proud of his grades and improvement and we are, too.
Homeless Services Coalition (providing Hotline for the Homeless, board leadership, committee work, Annual Mayor's Report). Mid-America Assistance Coalition (homeless statistics) Downtown Council Human Services Committee, Harvesters, FoodBank USA, Swope Community Health Partners, Kansas City University of Medicine and Bioscience, Truman Behavioral Health and YMCA (Client assistance), Heard My Cry, Paseo West, Hyde Park, Independence Plaza, and Pendleton Heights Neighborhood Associations.
A percentage of the homeless population have special needs for which there is currently no dedicated facility in the Kansas City area. Those homeless who have mental health issues and/or physical challenges have special needs and unique vulnerabilities that usually create for them an especially stressful living circumstance.
Our board is comprised of up to 17 business men and women. It has consistently been a group of committed individuals with a true heart for our ministry. Every board meeting begins with one of our clients sharing their 'story'. It could be a man from the streets or a single mother with children. This keeps even our board excited to be a part of the ministry.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
We are audited every year by the national firm Clifton Larson Allen (www.cliftonlarsonallen.com) and we submit that yearly audit to the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (www.ecfa.org).
Greater Kansas City Community Foundation
1055 Broadway Blvd., Suite 130, Kansas City, Missouri 64105
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