Jefferson City's Catholic Charities takes its resources on the road
JEFFERSON CITY - One charity group is taking it's services on the road.
Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri (CCCNMO) will launch its new mobile resource bus. The bus has an office space for volunteers to work and storage space for materials. The Director of Community Service Alissa Marlow said the bus is a way for CCCNMO to takes their serves to people who may not be able to get to them.
“We cover 38 counties so having this bus will allow us to go out to rural location so we can provide service for individuals that need the assistance,” Marlow said.
Catholic Charities Executive Director Dan Lester said CCCNMO will partner with other community organizations to meet the needs of people in the counties they serve and in areas with limited resources.
"We are partnering with a number of different social service agencies as well as other institutions that do outreach whether that’s behavioral health clinics, or provide food alongside the food pantry or the food bank here in Central Missouri," Lester said. “There’s a lot of resources in Jefferson City and Columbia but once you get outside those areas, the resources dry up really quickly and so we want to be able to find ways to get out to where people are at.”
While the organization will help with any needs they can, Lester said there are two that seem to be most prominent.
“In the 38 counties we serve there were 200,000 calls in the last year for assistance. The top two priorities were rental assistance and utility assistance," he said.
Lester said it is important to note that many of the people who need help are people who work full time jobs.
"Even working full-time, a living wage is a real challenge," he said. "Often times if we can just give them a little boost to see them through a month, then things can become steady."
Marlow noted that the CCCNMO will also help with medical assistance and auto repairs, clothes and personal hygiene products as well.
There is one resource bus to help CCCNMO serve but Marlow says he believes the impact made will be effective.
"We recognize that even with this resource were not going to be able to get everywhere and meet all of those needs, but we see ourselves as another force multiplier," he said.
The launch will happen Wednesday at 11:45 a.m. in the parking lot next to the the Schwartze Catholic Center. There will be a blessing ceremony to bless the bus before launching it.