KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The holiday season is bringing some bad news to some Catholic Charity workers, as about 45 employees at the social service agency are losing their jobs in January as the charity scales back their operations.
The charity is blaming the loss of a state contract for the cutbacks, which are coming at a time when the need for the services Catholic Charity provides are growing.
The State of Missouri recently decided not to renew a $2.4 million contract for foster care services that Catholic Charity had provided since the 1990′s. That contract helped support the charity’s other operations as well as subsidize rent and utilities at it’s centers.
At the Catholic Charity Father Dix Center in the Northeast neighborhood, about 200 families a month rely on the charity for help with groceries, clothing and money to help pay their rent and utility bills.
“It’s going to be devastating,” said Florentino Camacho. “If there’s any possible way that this program can be saved, the community pulling together, the business people the schools everybody pitching in because, this church has been here for years and they usually help their own. But now with so many people out of work, this is going to be devastating if we don’t get the doors, keep them open.”
Catholic Charities CEO Mike Halterman says that their office in Warrensburg will also be closed, and services are also being cut in St. Joseph. In all, about 45 mostly part-time jobs will be lost.
“It was a very difficult decision because we’re talking about an excellent staff,” said Halterman. “All these people provided great service, and from that standpoint it was a very difficult decision.
The Missouri Department of Social Services has not responded to FOX 4′s email request for comment on this story.
Halterman says that there are other social service agencies for people in need in the Kansas City area, but it will be more difficult for residents in Warrensburg, where there are fewer non-profit organizations there to help.