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South Kansas City nonprofit waits for governor's signature, looks to receive $1M from 2025 budget

Posted at 4:26 PM, Jun 27, 2024

KSHB 41 News reporter Megan Abundis covers topics of interest in areas around south Kansas City, Missouri. Share your story idea with Megan by sending her an e-mail.

Among those awaiting Missouri Gov. Mike Parson's signature on 2025 budget items is the Community Assistance Council in south Kansas City.

Missouri Rep. Anthony Ealy fought for CAC, dedicating $500,000 for operations and another $500,000 toward a new building to be included in the state's 2025 budget.

Rachel Casey, executive director at CAC, says that $1 million can help provide for thousands more in south Kansas City.


"I’ve been in the nonprofit world for 30 years, and we’ve never had something like this come through,” Casey said.

Casey is used to seeing CAC filled with south Kansas Citians, between the shelves of food, or in the offices with case managers.

"We just need space," she said. “We are the center of resources, activity, and needs in the south KC community.”

That help has been in the same building for nearly 50 years since 1976.

Casey said more than 300 families come through the food pantry a week.

RELATED | Community Assistance Council helps neighbors pay utility bills after heat wave

"We have 15 different fridges and freezers; some walk-in would be fantastic," she said.

Jasmine Lamb and George Harrison are clients at CAC, and spoke on how the organization has helped them.

"It’s great; it feels amazing to see that people really are helping the community like this," they said.


The priority it to keep families housed.

Casey said emergency rent and utility requests add up to $100,000 dollars each week.

After food, diaper, and hygiene needs are met, she said it’s adding on case workers, health, education, and money management classes.

Casey not only has visions to expand, but says they must help meet the needs of more people.

“We need more space for that; we desperately need more space," she said. "This will just be the huge jumping-off point for that. This funding has been the pin in it, like, 'OK, now we can have these talks.'"

Casey says if the money comes through from the state, thousands of people could see more services focused on moving low-income families from crisis to stability and adding on deeper health and work readiness resource help.


"That makes an immediate direct impact in somebody’s life," Casey said. “Anything we can do to bring stability and economic growth to this community is critical."

CAC serves low-income south Kansas City residents — about 85,000 people covering 85th street to Cass County.

The governor is expected to sign the 2025 state budget before Monday’s deadline.