City Union Mission | 2022
May 2022 | Written by Dennis Ellis, edited by Steve Moberg
City Union Mission, which will celebrate 98 years of service to Kansas City on September 15, provides warm beds, nutritious food and a place of safety for thousands of poverty-stricken and homeless men, women and children. Gashland EPC has been partnering with City Union Mission for over 60 years.
City Union Mission is an evangelical Christian ministry committed to sharing the Gospel and meeting the spiritual, physical and emotional needs of men, women
and children who are poor or homeless.
Women and Family – City Union offers KC women and children and families the physical essentials and the emotional and spirited guidance they need to achieve stability.
Youth Services – Offering homeless and inner-city children the physical, mental and spiritual guidance necessary to break the cycle of poverty and grow into upstanding
members of the Community and our World.
Both located at: Family Center, 1310 Wabash, Kansas City, Missouri 64127
Men’s Service – City Union Mission offers biblically-based assistance, rehabilitation and discipleship for men who need help with life essentials and for those who are ready to get back to stable futures.
Men’s Shelter – 1108 E. 10th, Kansas City, Missouri 64106
Christian Life Center – 1111 E 10th, Kansas City, Missouri 64106
Programs and Services (rescue • recovery • reaching out):
Hotline for the Homeless – Those who are experiencing homelessness, a housing crisis, or are in an unsafe situation can seek assistance by calling the Hotline at (816) 474-4599.
Emergency Shelters – CUM’s emergency shelters, one for men and another for women and families, are safe havens for those who come to the Mission seeking refuge. There are many causes of homelessness, including financial setbacks, addiction, family violence, and mental illness. The shelters provide a safe place to stay, nutritious meals, spiritual counsel, and case management to address and help resolve some of the challenges their guests experience. Children staying at the shelter receive services and education support through the Vanderberg Youth Center.
L. Minor Care Center (LMCC) – Providing a safe and secure living environment, the focus of LMCC is to assist homeless men who are challenged with managing their mental illness, disabilities, or vulnerabilities related to age or other circumstances. As a service component of Men’s Ministries, guests from the shelter are provided supportive community living, individualized case management, and connection to outside resources for the purpose of helping them obtain their most viably-secure independent living solution. The LMCC is not a nursing, medical center, nor a direct-entry program.
Nurse Services – City Union Mission offers nursing assistance to their shelter guests and program participants. Providing basic assessment and triage, medication management education, medical and mental health referral assistance, over-the-counter medication, health screenings and education, the Nurse Services support guests and participants in the process of gaining whole-person health and thriving.
New Beginning Covenant (NBC) – Offered in both the men’s and family shelters, individuals can apply to participate in this 6-to-8 week Biblically-informed, evidenced-based recovery program to help them reach their goal of whole-person health and independent living. Participants attend foundational classes in Christian life, health recovery, life skills, and vocational development. Individualized case management and counseling are also provided. Successful completion of the NBC program is required for application for the CLP or NLP.
Christian Life Program for Men (CLP) – A longer-term residential program, CLP encompasses a whole-person health approach to transformational recovery. The program includes individualized case management and counseling, weekly classes and groups in Christian life, health recovery, life skills and vocational development. Participants are provided educational and vocational training opportunities to achieve their personal vocational plan, and incorporate local church attendance to establish a healthy support system for discipleship and healthy living. The Christian Life Program is also available at The Harbor, an extension of City Union Mission, located in the Ozarks near Warsaw, Missouri.
New Life Program for Women and Families (NLP) – Offered to families and single women, the longer-term New Life Program focuses on whole-person health and transformational recovery. Participants attend weekly Bible study and health recovery skills classes, receive individualized case management and counseling, and create a personalized healthy living plan. Education, career development and regular church attendance are also integral parts of the program. Women and families live in the New Life Center in order to stabilize and prepare for their future move into permanent housing.
Transitional Living Program (TLP) – Long-term program graduates are able to apply for transitional living in a Mission-owned apartment. The TLP assists graduates in budgeting their resources while they are working and/or pursuing education. Participants pay a nominal rental fee, which is held in reserve and returned to the participant at the end of the program in order to be used as a deposit to secure their own housing.
Mission Works – Vocational Development at City Union Mission, aka “Mission Works”, is an outcomes-oriented service of their recovery programs that provides participants the opportunity to assess vocational goals and needs, and acquire the education and a skill set necessary to live their most viably-secure independent life. Through this service, participants are introduced to a Biblical theology of work and an understanding of its significance of whole-person health and thriving.
Learning Centers – Located in the Christian Life Center, The Harbor, and Family Center, the learning centers are the hub of Mission Works educational and vocational development activities and resources. From educational assessments and programming, digital literacy classes, and career exploration and work readiness skill development, the Learning Center staff provide the assessments, training, and resources essential for fulfilling educational and vocational goals.
Vanderberg Youth Center (VYC) – Children, ages 7 to 17, from the community or staying in the Family Shelter, participate each week in organized play, crafts, drama, Bible study and educational programming at the VYC. Opportunities for growth abound as boys and girls learn through life skills classes, computer training, cooking and sewing classes, woodworking class, field trips, mission trips, and other activities. The VYC staff and volunteers act as role models to the children who attend, helping them to develop a healthy relationship toward themselves, their families, and the community.
Camp CUMCITO – Low-income children throughout Kansas City benefit from the Mission’s summer camps at Camp CUMCITO (City Union Mission Camp in the Ozarks). Each July, nearly 500 children, ages 4-16, spend a fun-packed week at the camp located near Warsaw, Missouri. Swimming, hiking, crafts, and cookouts fill the day, while Bible teaching, drama, songs, and campfires give kids new hope. Counselors surround the children with love and consistent discipline.
City Camp – A 10-week summer day camp available to children living in the Family Shelter and in the community. Children enjoy a variety of activities, including Bible study, crafts, recreation, academics, weekly field trips, and swimming. City Camp runs from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday through Friday throughout the summer.
Community Assistance – The Mission provides extensive, compassionate service to low-income community residents. Relief efforts include the distribution of food, clothing, school supplies, household items, utility assistance, case management, referrals to affordable housing, life skills classes, and services to homebound elderly and disabled people.
Mission Christmas – A holiday outreach of Community Assistance, the Mission Christmas initiative works hand-in-hand with generous individuals, churches, schools and businesses to brighten the season for low-income or homeless families and men, nursing home residents, children at the Vanderberg Youth Center, and Jackson County Jail inmates. With the help of volunteers, the Mission distributes over 36,000 new items and about 160 food baskets during the Christmas season.
Donations – GEPC will have a City Union Mission truck in our South Parking Lot on Saturday, May 14, 2022, from 10:00 a.m. till 2:00 p.m. We will be collecting toilet paper, paper towels, sugar (4 lb. bags), oatmeal (quick 1-minute oats – NO individual servings), chips (1 oz. single-serve bags), and disposable forks and spoons.
Help Out – As mentioned, the City Camp and Camp CUMCITO will be coming up this summer. If any college students or young adults might be interested in working with younger kids, please contact City Union Mission. Also, for other volunteer opportunities, job opportunities or donation information, please go to www.cityunionmission.org or call (816) 474-9380.