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IN THE NEWS - Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri reports increase in need for those needing assistance in Springfield

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - As the pandemic grows, agencies serving the homeless or those at-risk of becoming homeless report an increase in need.

Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri serves homeless pregnant women at LifeHouse Crisis Maternity Home. It also offers services to others struggling, from the Glenstone office in Springfield, which also houses Consumer Credit Counseling. It is now part of Catholic Charities. Case managers meet with those needing rent or utility assistance and work with them on a comprehensive plan to self sufficiency. They have financial counselors who help those behind on their mortgages figure out a plan.

They also help the homeless and those in need rapid re-housing help. Those clients go through One Door. Since March, Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri has served 170 households with housing or homeless prevention. They’ve also served more than 120 homeless or at-risk veterans in 36 counties across southern Missouri, a much higher rate than usual.

Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri receives usual grants, but also received CARES Act funds to help with the increasing need. It is expecting more funding from the state. Catholic Charities received more than $400,000. And Consumer Credit Counseling received about $225,000. The need is already great, and they expect it to continue growing.

“So many people have either been furloughed,” said Maura Taylor, Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri Executive Director. “They’ve lost their job. They’ve had a reduction in work hours, and people are struggling to pay their rents and their utilities.”

Case managers do ask anyone needing help call their office and make an appointment at (417)268-9998. The agency says it must first be providing rental assistance before providing any utility assistance.

Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri says it is hoping to use some of its CARES Act funds to do some other work with homeless families and medical respite.