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MLM affirms the right of all people to food, clothing and shelter, while promoting self-sufficiency and hope through direct services and advocacy." —Mission Statement of MLM"
MLM's work belongs to people all over the Greater Kansas City Area. Anchored by congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, and the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, a total of more than 100 congregations from 10 denominations support our work. We receive funding from these congregations, from federal, state, and local government programs, and from many local individuals, foundations, and corporations.
A 501(c)(3) nonprofit social service agency, Metro Lutheran Ministry (MLM) helps disadvantaged people of all races, religions and nationalities in the urban areas of Jackson, Clay and Platte Counties in Missouri and Wyandotte and Johnson counties in Kansas. MLM uses a holistic approach with strengths and outcome-based counseling and case management, which guide receptive clients toward greater independence and self-reliance.
'Speak out for those who cannot speak, for the rights of all the destitute. Speak out, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.' Proverbs 31:8-9 (NRSV)
A History of Service
Forty-seven Lutheran congregations in Kansas City established Metro Lutheran Ministry in 1971 with the motivation to minister to the poor, older adult and disabled. Throughout its 34-year history, MLM has been known as one of Kansas City's pioneering social service agencies, sponsoring new and innovative housing and emergency assistance programs, which became successful, separate non-profits.
MLM founded Harvester's Food Bank, the central resource and distribution center for Greater Kansas City's food pantries and emergency food suppliers, Sheffield Place (transitional housing for women and children), and Parvin Estates, a low income, affordable apartment complex in North Kansas City. For 30 years, MLM has operated two annual Christmas Stores in Wyandotte and Jackson counties. Serving over 1,800 families with Christmas gifts, this endeavor has grown to be the second largest gift giving effort in the metro area.
In just one year, through MLM's Community CARE programs and older adult Services, 20 full-time personnel and many dedicated volunteers answered more than 140,000 calls for emergency assistance. Nearly 57,000 people from over 20,000 families (duplicated count) received emergency care services. A total of 357,589 meals were provided for 22,847 people (a 56% increase over the previous year), 99,467 pieces of clothing were given to 5,941 people (a 58% increase) and 60,685 requests (an increase of 29%) were received for emergency utility or financial assistance.
The backbone of MLM is the thousands of volunteers who support and sustain MLM's assistance programs. Whether packing groceries for clients in the food pantry, folding clothes in the clothes closet, feeding the homeless under the bridges, organizing the MLM Christmas stores or sitting on the MLM Council and Board, volunteers make all the difference. With advocacy and outreach programs, volunteers now go forth into the community to touch the lives of the homebound and disabled. You too can make a difference.
"MLM affirms the right of all people to food, clothing and shelter, while promoting self-sufficiency and hope through direct services and advocacy."