Kansas City and Jackson County public assistance.

There are multiple Family Resource Centers in Kansas City and Jackson County. The government run centers are part of the Social Service Department, and they help very low income families access public assistance programs. The short term, temporary solutions provide cash aid, grants for paying some bills, and much more.

The Department of Social Services will assist with outreach and/or applications to SNAP food stamps, the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program. This government benefit is one of the main tools for alleviating hunger and it improves nutrition by increasing the monthly purchasing power of working poor as well as low-income households. Beneficiaries are able to get a little help to pay for their groceries and there eat a more nutritious diet by preparing food at home.

There are other food assistance programs in the Kansas City area arranged as well. They include the following:

  • Education and outreach.
  • Tools on how to shop, including using grocery store coupons, cell phone apps, and bulk buying.
  • Cooking classes.

Not only that, but the Jackson County Family Resource Centers offers other financial resources too. They not only focus on SNAP. There may also be referrals too (or direct financial aid) to pay for everything from rent to donation programs for Christmas toys, LIHEAP assistance, cash aid and much more. The agency takes a multi-faceted approach to assisting as many food stamp clients as possible.

Parents and guardians that are employed (or in job training,) can use the public aid from the Kansas City Child Care Subsidy Program. It alleviates a portion of the families child care bills.  This allows the parent to focus on their employment for a time defined period of time. Vouchers only pay for a portion of bills.

Affordable and sometimes free health care is available from Kansas City public assistance programs. One of them is Medicaid, or MO HealthNet. It is a combination of state and federal government benefit. This program was created to be a health insurance program for low-income individuals, people living in poverty and families who otherwise cannot afford their medical bills.





There are limits and constraints of course. While Medicaid can help, it is not a complete solution in itself. As some examples, Medicaid may help pay for certain health care bills including some or all of the following. It generally only pays for a portion of the costs too. It can pay for Dental Care, Doctor Bills, some brand name and/or generic Prescriptions (Excluding prescriptions for Medicare beneficiaries), Nursing Home Care, Hospital Bills, Vision Care, or Mental Health Care in Jackson County. If this is not an option as the household income is too high, then try a sliding fee scale dental clinic.

Some maybe so called non-traditional medical expenses can be covered too. The Kansas City Medicaid program may use public aid to pay for Personal Care Services (PCS), In-home care for the elderly or seniors, and some critical Medical Equipment as well as Other Home Health Services. Case workers from DSS can also help clients sign up for medications from the Missouri RX Plan.

Cash grants from public benefits

The purpose of the TANF Program in Kansas City is to provide temporary cash assistance to help in the transition from welfare to work. The grants from Family Resource Centers can be used to pay for a wide variety of expenses, ranging from rent to utility bills, food, or medical costs. There is also cash assistance as part of Refugee Resettlement services.

Temporary Assistance (TA) is targeted to eligible families with minor children, including single moms or two family homes. This program guides families with children as they make the shift from dependency on public welfare to self-sufficiency through employment as part of Missouri Work Assistance (MWA).

Weatherization as well as the LIHEAP - Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program combine financial aid with conservation. The publicly funded program can help low-income people both keep their power on and also prevent heat from escaping in the winter and cool air from escaping in the summer.




Applications are taken by appointment only. Proof of income, residency, and other support is needed. There is also usually a waiting list in place. Between the two, Family Resource centers in Kansas City may offer cash grant payments directly to utility vendors or gas companies. Weatherization will then add free energy saving measures to the home, such as weather-stripping, window, caulking and door replacement, attic insulation, and incidental repairs.

There are multiple Department of Social Service Family Resource Centers in the region. Call 855-373-4636. Or try the locations of:

Midtown Resource Center at 4309 East 50th Terr Kansas City, MO 64130.
The Independence Resource Center is at 201 East Partridge Avenue Independence, MO 64055
Fletcher Daniels Office Building Resource Center – The address is 615 East 13th Street Kansas City, Missouri 64106
The last DSS location, Woodland Resource Center, is at 711 Woodland Avenue Kansas City, MO 64106.


By Jon McNamara

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