Reaching Out. Providing Hope. Changing Lives.

Motivated by the love of Christ, Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri seeks to improve the lives of the vulnerable by providing quality, compassionate social services, which meet local needs. 

Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri was established in 2009 as a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation to provide services to those of all faiths across the southernmost 39 counties in Missouri. Over the last decade, Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri has grown to include six programs that help families and individuals achieve long-term success. 




Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri (CCSOMO) is a faith-based 501(c)(3) agency established on July 24, 2009 and governed by a Board of Directors.

Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri is part of the Catholic Charities USA network, which is comprised of 167 Catholic Charities agencies nationwide.

When Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri was established, there were two employees and two offices, one in Springfield within the Catholic Center which housed the Bishop’s offices, and another in Cape Girardeau.

The first program was Family and Mental Health Counseling. Agency staff also attended local meetings regarding disaster response.


In 2011, with the support of the local Catholic community, the diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, and our network of Catholic Charities organizations, CCSOMO faced the unprecedented natural disaster of the E-5 Joplin tornado. CCSOMO suddenly became a vital source of help for those who lost everything. This event also marked a long period of unprecedented growth, creativity, and specialization. Within a year, CCSOMO became the largest provider of long-term disaster case management in the state of Missouri. CCSOMO continues to develop its capacity to help disaster survivors through the Disaster Services Program.

The Joplin disaster also revealed the great need for home repair and rebuilding. Consequently, CCSOMO launched a new program named Rebuilding Homes, Rebuilding Lives. Ultimately, CCSOMO utilized thousands of volunteers in Joplin to repair 250 homes and completely rebuild 15. The program, since renamed, continues its work today through CCSOMO's Construction Services programs.

The agency was active with other efforts in 2011. GoodFinds Thrift Store was opened in Joplin and became a source of direct assistance for clients. Agency services are expanded to the central part of the diocese with an office in Van Buren. Construction and Disaster Services are key partners in response to the extensive flooding of the Pinhook disaster.


In 2012, an office opened in Sikeston and CCSOMO began offering the Pregnancy and Parenting Support Program. This program exists today as the Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies Program.

Eventually, CCSOMO's Home Repair program expanded beyond disaster situations to include repairs for seniors in Cape Girardeau County, and for income-eligible families in multiple regions.

CCSOMO’s Housing Assistance and Homelessness Prevention Program grew out of its work with disaster survivors who were displaced from their homes. Eventually, this program expanded to cover all of southern Missouri and reach all those struggling to find and sustain housing. Today's Housing Programs continue this work and have evolved in response to community needs. In line also with CCSOMO's goal of helping clients achieve self-sufficiency, the Housing and Financial Counseling Program was created.


In 2013, CCSOMO adopted its tagline “Reaching Out, Providing Hope, and Changing Lives.” “Reaching Out” was chosen given the nature of our service area: geographically expansive (covering 25,719 square miles), largely rural with little public transportation, and with many areas of intense poverty. CCSOMO quickly recognized that to effectively offer our services to those most in need, CCSOMO must travel to our clients, not require clients to come to us.

When the need arose for an agency to assume the work of support coordination for individuals with developmental disabilities, CCSOMO stepped up to help. In April, CCSOMO began providing support coordination in Scott County for this vulnerable population, and eventually expanded into Cape Girardeau County. CCSOMO continues to provide these services through its Disability Services Program. 

 This year brought the birth of LifeHouse Crisis Maternity Home, which opened its doors on December 27, when an empty Carmelite monastery in Springfield became available. LifeHouse was soon identified as an ideal answer to the needs of homeless, pregnant women.

The Monastery was also the answer to another pressing issue. At that time, CCSOMO's offices in Springfield were located in the Catholic Center, which housed also the offices of the diocese. Given CCSOMO was quickly outgrowing its assigned space, it was a blessing that the remainder of the monastery could accommodate both CCSOMO’s home office and LifeHouse.


In late 2014, Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri launched its Support Services for Veteran Families Program (SSVF) targeting homeless veterans and veterans on the verge of homelessness, along with their families, respectively. This program is offered throughout the diocese except in Greene, Christian, and Webster counties where The Kitchen, Inc. of Springfield provides similar services to veteran families. The program aligns with Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri’s overall emphases on helping individuals and families who face housing crises and moving our clients toward self-sufficiency.


Due to growth of the SSVF program and staff expansion, an office opened in Poplar Bluff in 2015 to serve more veterans and their families.

Secondary offices were required in both Cape Girardeau and Springfield, for a total of nine office locations serving southern Missouri.


Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri launched its Construction On-Job-Training Program. The program builds on the knowledge and experience CCSOMO gained from its Home Repair and Rebuilding Program. Both of these programs are now Construction Services.


In 2018, Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri acquired Consumer Credit Counseling Service of the Ozarks in Springfield (CCCS), as part of the ministry's social enterprise initiative. CCCS is a 501(c)(3) agency that provides debt management and financial wellness programs. Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri's mission is to lead clients to self-sufficiency whenever possible. CCCS services are seen as contributing to that mission and the ongoing endeavor to serve clients’ needs for overall wellness.


The agency continues to grow as it enters its second decade of operation. On July 24, 2019, CCSOMO celebrated its tenth anniversary and service to more than 30,000 clients since opening.


Late that same year, CCSOMO was accredited by the Council on Accreditation. CCSOMO's COA accreditation is the seal of approval, which recognizes the use of best practices in the management of nonprofit charities. COA accreditation also facilitates long-term grant funding and telegraphs to the world of CCSOMO’s long-term viability.


The COVID pandemic has challenged CCSOMO. Agency leadership committed from the beginning of the pandemic to staying open to serve clients while protecting their health and that of employees. As of the one year anniversary of the pandemic in March 2021, CCSOMO has been fully operational with no interruptions to service.


Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri is named by the Springfield Business Journal as its 2021 Charitable Nonprofit of the Year. The award given on July 29, recognized the work of the ministry during the 2020 pandemic year. This award in 2021 is especially significant given it comes during a time when so many outstanding nonprofits were doing incredible work to help people respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri began a capital fundraising campaign to build a new LifeHouse crisis maternity home in Cape Girardeau. Construction of LifeHouse Cape Girardeau is slated to begin in 2022 and its doors are scheduled to open in 2024.