The Golden Scoop Discusses Job Opportunities for Developmentally Disabled

Amber Schreiber & Lindsay Krumbholz| Founders

The Golden Scoop concept has been in the making since 2018. We are modeled after two successful companies centered on employing people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, we just married the two ideas!

visit them here: thegoldenscoop.org


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Previous Episodes!

The Mission Project Developmental Disability Programs

The Mission Project Developmental Disability Programs

The Mission Project 

Michael Belancio, Member & Volunteer

The Mission Project is a nonprofit organization dedicated to enabling capable adults with developmental disabilities, such as autism and Down syndrome, to live full and satisfying lives. The Mission Project provides a safe, supportive community where participants have numerous opportunities for growth. 



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Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

Take risks. Own success. Be Uncommon.

TW: @kauffmanfdn FB: @kauffmanfdn IG: @kauffmanfdn


welcome back to Casey cares, Kansas city’s nonprofit voice telling the stories of Kansas city nonprofits and the people behind them proudly produced by charitable communications and generously underwritten by the Ewing Marion Kauffman foundation. Jeez

and I’m respond biggest. And we continue to bring these nonprofits stories in and around the Kansas city area from a safety sense.

We just want to let everybody know that we are abiding by the rules that they are at this moment. It is fine. And we’re chatting with some great nonprofits and hearing about how resilient so many are. And we have one of those organizations today. Joining us is Jenna Neer.

National multiple sclerosis society, men America. Jenna, thank you so much. Thank you for having me. And, um, I’m thrilled that we’re able to do this in a safe and socially distant way. Because that certainly wasn’t what we were doing when we first met. I know, I know we were having a wonderful program or their ms.

Breakthroughs program and Overland park. They were nearly 200 people there, the learning about and research and celebrating the accomplishments of our volunteers. And that seems like ages ago. And we could all be together in one room. Well, hopefully we’ll get back to that sooner rather than later, particularly for new and the folks you work with and how it’s really important that you pay attention to what’s going on.

So I think maybe a great jumping off point is, can you get us a good definition or description of what ms. Is it. Yes. I’m sorry. Yeah, absolutely. And I think ms is one of those diseases where it, it looks so different for everybody that there’s no way to look at someone and say, Oh, that’s what ms looks like.

And so ms is a neurological disease. Uh, it affects the central nervous system. So our nervous system is made up of, of course, all these nerves and those nerves are coated with something called violin. And there’s an auto immune disease, which means that your body attacks its own. Tissue. And then ms. It attacks the myelin.

So when your body is trying to send messages to your brain, trying to send messages to your body, if your myelin is affected, if that insulation around your nerves, isn’t functioning, right? The information from your brain to your body is going to get interrupted. And depending on where the damages in your brain and your nervous system, it’s going to give you different symptoms.

So for some people, they may have a more mild case where they may experience some. Numbness and tingling. Um, and for others it could be, you know, a variety of symptoms that lead to blindness paralysis, and it really does vary person to person. And it varies for each person throughout the course of their disease.

How is, how do you discover it? How is it diagnosed? Yeah. You know, I it’s it’s. Um, we’ve made a lot of progress in our diagnostics. And I think that many people in, in stories that I’ve heard of people affected by ms. Who oftentimes people will present with, you know, the left side of the side of my body is numb or, you know, I’m having some.

Strange vision issues that just came on all of a sudden, or, you know, for some people they’ve, they’ve completely lost the lute use of their legs or their arms. And so people will go to the doctors, a neurologist and they’ll get an MRI. And that MRI will reveal where there are what we call lesions in the brain and the spinal cord.

Once that happens, what’s the next. For somebody who gets that diagnosis. Yeah. So at this point we don’t have a cure for ms. However, we have, gosh, the number keeps increasing even just in the past couple of weeks here, but we have about 20 disease modifying drugs that can slow the progression of the disease.

And most of those medications are approved only for relapsing forms of ms, which means relapsing about. 80% of people have a relapsing forms of ms, which means that they may have a flare up of symptoms. And then those symptoms tend to go away or at least to a more significant point. And then in about 20% of folks have what we call progressive ms.

Where they have that flare up of symptoms, but then their condition continues to progress in terms of more disability. And, um, Impairment. And so the majority of medications that we have right now or are for those relapsing forms of ms. However, there are some medications now, even we actually just started first medication in the past couple of years approved for progressive ms.

So we have a lot of work to do for sure, in the progressive ms side. But when someone is diagnosed, you know, working really closely with their neurologist to decide. Hey, do we need to do steroids? Let’s get you on a disease modifying drug right away to help slow the progression. And then, you know, other, other, you know, occupational or physical therapies needs that might come from that as well.

Okay. Is there any kind of commonality. In patients that, um, for example, age or sex or part of the world you’re from anything like that. Yeah. That’s a great question. We, um, you know, we’d know some things, we don’t know what causes ms, but we do know some things we know that women are two to three times more likely to develop ms than men.

We know that people are diagnosed. In kind of between the ages of 25 and 40 most common so that, um, you know, prime of life, starting your career, starting your family, that type of that time of life. We know that the further you are from the equator during the first 12 to 15 years of your life, The more likely you are to get diagnosed in someone who is more closely to the creator.

So we know that people of Northern European ancestry are also more commonly diagnosed. So there are some things we know from an epidemiological perspective, but we can’t pinpoint exactly what makes someone more likely than someone else. The other thing I will say to that, to that point is we know that ms is not hereditary, meaning that.

If your mom has it, it’s, it’s, you know, 50, 50 chance you’re going to get it. But we do know that there’s a genetic component. There are over 200 genes that have been identified that increase someone’s risk for developing ms. So what we’re looking at is okay, if you have this genetic predisposition. What is it in the environment that basically triggers that gene flip the switch to turn it on and have someone develop ms.

So there’s a ton of work in our research. That’s really delving into the genetic elements of this disease. So with all that great information, we know it’s auto immune. There isn’t a cure. There are drugs out there that have with the symptoms research is going on. What is the ms. Society focused on in Kansas city particularly?

Well, you know, we, we, especially right now, gosh, I feel like the conversation has changed a little bit. I mean, here’s the thing ms. Has not stopped during a pandemic and we are not. Stopping. I think that the complexity of the needs that people with ms and people affected by ms are facing are, are, um, amplified right now.

And so right now, some of the things that we are doing, and so, you know, in terms of research, we do have some society funded research projects that you MKC at. Um, can you mad? We have some really phenomenal and a specialty neurologist. Here in the Kansas city Metro that we work really closely with. Um, and then in addition to that, we have, we’ve just like everywhere.

We’ve had to really reimagine what our connection, uh, what our connections look like. So support groups that we’re meeting in person, what does that look like now? So we, we work really closely with our support group leaders to provide virtual connection opportunities, to reduce isolation. Um, which is, you know, even more of an issue right now, isolation of course, is, uh, is challenging for all of us, but particularly people who may be living with a disability.

Um, and then another thing that I am really, really proud of and excited about that the national ms. Society does is our ms. Navigator service. So this is a nationwide network of. Highly trained, highly professional social workers and others who are available to answer calls, answer questions, be that supportive partner, to anyone who calls in and says, Hey, I have this specific need.

Whether they’re newly diagnosed, whether they’re facing challenges with getting their electricity turned off, whether they need to provide, um, you know, accessibility modifications for their homes, we provide that supportive partnership. And make sure that they’re connected to the community resources.

They need to case management services. They may, we may need. And, um, two other, two other, you know, resources that their society offers and that’s been hugely, um, access right now. As you can imagine, during this pandemic.

Now, how do you, I guess when it pumps, are you on, go ahead. No, I was just


I was curious about, uh, the, you know, with the, with the research going on and in relation to the pandemic, do you see, do you see it kind of with, I don’t know, it seems like more and more people are throwing their hat into the rain too.

Um, because of the government and because of this, they’re able to produce medication and re more research as possible because of more companies possibly. Do you see that happening or is it maybe in my off,

you know, with that? You know, that’s a, that’s an interesting question. I know right now that many of the researchers that we fund, uh, because of that need to socially distance themselves, they haven’t been able to be in the lab.

So what this time has afforded them though, is that time to sit back and. Think more strategically about their research and hypothesize about, you know, what they’ve currently learned about their research what’s possible. Um, you know, just like all of us where we’re busy in our day to day, we don’t have time to just sit there out the window and dream big and saying, you know, This is really well in front of researchers that time.

And, um, related to COVID is that, um, some of the treatments that have come to market for ms that are currently used, I know that some of our researchers and submissions and others have looked at those to see, you know, in what ways might some of these, um, you know, immune. The drugs that we have be beneficial for people who are, um, who have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

So I think that there are some interesting crossovers in what exists in the ms space and how that might be translated into, into, um, COVID-19. I don’t want to.

No, I think you make an excellent point, Bobby, that, you know, this could be the time for big thinking may truly benefit in the long run, even though it doesn’t seem to be the front burner type thing. I know you’ve had to take a pivot with one of your biggest activities. The ms. Bike, um, event that comes up every year and they hear about, tell us a little bit about what you’re you’re doing around that.

Yeah. So, um, and thanks for asking. We, we, we do big events, um, nationwide walk, ms.

Decided that we needed to transition to our entire spring season in virtual. So we have all of our events in Kansas city. One would have been on April 25th and we would have all been together, you know, rallying around one another. Um, but we had to reimagine that. And one of the things I will say. Um, and I, and I thought about this, right?

When we got into the madness of the pandemic is that, um, the type of adapting and creativity that every single one of us has had to do during this time is something that people with ms. Do every single day they’d have to figure out. Okay. So what is today look like? How do I make this work? My, you know, my symptoms may or may not show up today.

How do I adapt? To this new world every single day. And so I have found a lot of inspiration in the people who I work alongside, who are living with ms, in how they approach their day, how they approach life and our walk, ms. Virtual experience was no different. We saw people come out with all kinds of creative ideas, really unique ways to build community really.

Fun ways to continue to raise the important funds that we need to keep our work going. And you mentioned bike, ms. And I think that’s what a lot of people know us for. And, you know, definitely we were named the, the best, the organized bike ride in Kansas city by the pitch, which is really exciting. And, um, I think it’s well deserved because we are really fantastic.

Organized bike ride. In fact, bike, ms is the largest fundraising cycling series on the planet. And we are thrilled that here in Kansas city at the top 20 in the country. So as of now our bike ms. Ride, which is scheduled for the last weekend in September, it is still on. However, we continue to have conversations with, you know, monitoring the, you know, guidelines, having conversations with the right officials, really imagining what does it look like if we come together as an organized bike ride, how do we do that safely and effectively?

Um, so we have those conversations as of now, Still ago. And I will say that just like with our walk, ms. Virtual plans, our bike, ms. Cyclists are so creative in their fundraising, in their, um, you know, training. We have one gentleman who’s doing this virtual ride that he’s tracking online, riding from Disneyland to Disney world between now and September.

So my LP gulags is, is going to, um, you know, meet those virtual miles and he’s doing his fundraising around that. So, um, as of now we, we are all systems go, but you’re right. It is a pivot. It’s a pivot in how we engage people from afar. How we. Build virtual communities and how we keep the momentum high to continue the important fundraising that we need to do.

What’s the best way for folks to get in touch with you and find out, you know, real time what’s going on and how they might. Help for being engaged. Absolutely. Our website, a ms. Society, that org or the national ms. Society, that org is a great place to, to learn. First of all, we have, um, we have so much updated information right now about COVID-19.

That was one of the first things that we did is make sure that we had timely, accurate, relevant information available. So people can find that. On our website at national ms. society.org. And you can also find links there for bike ms. Or our virtual walk. Ms. Pages are still open. We have lots of ways to get involved with our public policy and advocacy to ensure that people locally and federally understand the decisions that they’re making for their constituents with ms.

So I say, visit our website. Janet. It’s great to have you enlightened keeping the ball rolling. Absolutely. Thank you so much for having me.

Inspired by you and Mary and Kauffman. The Kauffman foundation believes that every person, regardless of their background should have the opportunity to learn, to take risks and to own their success.

Working together with our Kansas city community and beyond. We take on approaches that break down barriers, providing people with the necessary skills throughout life to make, or take a job and ultimately give back to their community. By listening to the communities, we serve, tap into our learnings and relationships and bring everyone together to build and support programs that improve education boost, entrepreneurship and help Kansas city thrive.

Previous Episodes!

Johnson County Community Services Nonprofit Efforts

Kansas City’s Nonprofit Voice!

Sharing the stories of local nonprofits and connecting them with the community! We talk with philanthropists, volunteers, community activists, executive directors, and non-profit lovers from the Kansas City nonprofit community. Be seen, be heard with KC Cares! Kansas City’s Nonprofit Voice!

On Episode 364 of KC Cares, we talk with Terri Thompson with Prairie Fire Museum! Listen now!

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Prairie Fire Museum

Terri Thompson, Director, development and community engagement

The Museum of Prairiefire Foundation (Museum at Prairiefire) is committed to innovative learning in science, the arts and natural history. Through a founding collaboration with the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, as well as with other cultural and educational institutions in the nation, the Museum at Prairiefire (MAP) is a place that provides ACCESS FOR ALL to understand and celebrate natural history and science in our region and around the world.
The MAP engages visitors and students of all ages with world-class exhibitions, important programming, and provides significant educational and STEAM opportunities for underserved children through KC Urban Advantage 


  • •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

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KC Cares, Kansas City’s nonprofit voice, tells the stories of Kansas City nonprofits and connects them with the community.  

Produced by Charitable Communications 

In partnership with the Kauffman Foundation

Think. Do. Be Uncommon.

Transcription of Interview:

Ruth Bigus: [00:00:00] Welcome. Welcome back to KC Cares, Kansas city’s window on the nonprofit community and the people they serve on roof FOM biggest and Bobby keys. My partner is sound and King of video today. We are in a very cool space. We are at . And museum at Prairie fire, 


it is the map and it is a tremendous space.

I think we’ll be hearing T-Rex and some of his friends throughout the broadcast, which is just part of the fun of being here. So come on out and explore this. Great, great. Museum and activity space here in Kansas city. We are back with a lovely lady. I’ve had the privilege of knowing for a little while, and that’s Brandy Hodge, who’s the community relations man manager for Johnson County human services.

She manages all the humans.

Brandy Hodge: [00:00:56] That’s what I like to say. Yes, there you go. And services, not robot services.

Ruth Bigus: [00:01:00] You’ve got the power girl, you’ve got the power. County funded,

Brandy Hodge: [00:01:05] correct. Most of it.

Ruth Bigus: [00:01:07] Oh. But that

Brandy Hodge: [00:01:09] educate us. All right. Well, with human services, our budget actually is a lot based on grants because human services, a lot of people don’t know what human services does, what that is.

So we are actually three divisions that could almost be standalone departments. So we are the area agency on aging for Johnson County. We are also the housing authority of Johnson County covering all of Johnson County, except for the city of Aletha. Cause they have their own housing authority. And then we also have an outreach services program where we help low income neighbors with utility assistance, food pantry and other things.

But the area agency on aging and housing services, those are heavily grant funded. And so about 70% of our department is actually covered in grants.

Ruth Bigus: [00:01:52] That’s good to know. I think people make an assumption that it’s all their tax dollars taking care of this three very robust. Areas. How many people do you estimate you touch, let’s say in a given year or a month, whatever timeframe you want to boil it down to?

Brandy Hodge: [00:02:10] Let’s see. Wow. I honestly don’t know for human services as a whole, you know, when I break everything down, you know, it’s definitely thousands. I don’t know if it’s hundreds of thousands or how many, but it’s just, it depends on what program area we’re looking at. depending on. You know how many people we’re serving, but I’m always like to say with human services, it’s not just low income.

That’s a big misconception is that you have to be low income to receive services because with the area agency on aging, that’s one. Like for the home delivered meal program, meals on wheels that is 60. I’m and over in homebound, so you don’t have to be age qualified or I’m sorry, income qualified for that program.

So just homebound, just homebound and 60 years or older. And so for that program, that’s where we serve the entire County. So every zip code in Johnson County is pretty much touched with that program.

Ruth Bigus: [00:03:06] How do people find out or get into a program like that?

Brandy Hodge: [00:03:09] A lot of times what happens is word of mouth or with programs such as the home delivered meal program, meals on wheels.

It’s just such a robust program. People know about it. It’s been established since world war II. Our department’s been around since the 70s. And so to kind of get started is that we have, aging information specialist and you can call them and they kind of are just your single point of entry. And to services and they can help you with whatever you have questions about, whether it’s nursing home, if it’s transportation, if it’s aging in place, which of course that’s what everyone wants to do.


Ruth Bigus: [00:03:44] you actually provide the services or do you become a connector to other resources, let’s say for in home health care or, you know, helping, , get a home. And a condition for somebody, let’s say, who’s got some mobility issues?

Brandy Hodge: [00:04:02] So  a little bit of both. We work with contractors, work with private agencies, and then also, you know, we do some other services in home.

So doing case management, doing the meals on wheels program, doing catch a ride, providing transportation, with the housing authority. We also have minor home program and home program where we can help, repair homes that may need. some assistance, and of course, that one is income eligible.

Ruth Bigus: [00:04:30] Let’s go back to meals on wheels.

I’m always curious who’s cooking the meals and whose then putting them on the wheels and taking them out to people.

Brandy Hodge: [00:04:36] Oh, that’s a great question. So for, we always want to try to call it home delivered meals first, but home delivered meals. Everyone knows it is meals on wheels. Yes. used to be kind of mom and pop cooking, but just over time now what we do is we have a contract agency and they’re called Valley services.

They make over 600 meals a day, and Aletha. And they start cooking really early in the morning before most of us even wake up and all the food is freshly prepared every day. It may. When it is, I’m actually prepared. It actually looks kind of like a TV dinner, but it’s not, it’s not a frozen meal. It’s they get a hot entree and they also get a cold bag.

And we have volunteers that then over a thousand volunteers a year, deliver those meals to homebound seniors in their home. And we have seven different pickups, places where volunteers pick up the meals and deliver, and it’s Monday through Friday.

Ruth Bigus: [00:05:29] That’s tremendous.

Brandy Hodge: [00:05:32] W

Ruth Bigus: [00:05:32] what’s happening with our aging population?

Give us a snapshot. We hear about national statistics, how the population is. Just starting to soar. We’re living longer, so what’s it like in Johnson County and since you’re delivering some of those services,

Brandy Hodge: [00:05:47] right. I think another great guest for you would definitely be Dan Goodman, who’s a director of the area agency on aging because he can give you definitely the statistics and all that, all the numbers.

I’m definitely just more of a bigger overview, but what I would say is, definitely Johnson County is the best place to age because of the services that we provide. I have a grandma that’s in Missouri and I can tell you, and it’s not to dismiss Zuri, it’s only because I’m from a small home, a small farm town, you know?

So of course when you’re in a bigger city, you have a lot more services available. Here in Johnson County, we definitely focus on trying to have seniors age in place. And so we have a lot of programs available that aren’t available in smaller

Ruth Bigus: [00:06:23] cities. Well, let’s get into housing then.

Brandy Hodge: [00:06:25] Okay. Tell us what,

Ruth Bigus: [00:06:26] what, what you got going on in that

Brandy Hodge: [00:06:29] little

Okay. One of our biggest things we’ve been working with with housing this year is we hired a housing landlord recruiter, and that is actually to work with landlords in the community because what housing has done over the last 10 15 years is kind of move away from what they call section eight housing and move more into housing choice voucher, allowing people to choose where they want to live.

And so by doing that with, then we work with individual landlords and a lot of misconceptions about housing. Cause people not to want to work with us. And so what we do is we have, and now a new position where we have someone out in the community that’s working on building those relationships and really getting people to want to work with us.

Ruth Bigus: [00:07:09] And how’s that going so far?

Brandy Hodge: [00:07:10] So far? Awesome. I’m, I’m hoping to, you know, get some, some numbers out. We know, due to confidentiality, we don’t want to say what agencies are working with us, but we have made a lot of lot of progress in the last three or four months. I’m getting some big names to help us. And so what that does is that not only opens the opportunity for those who have housing choice vouchers to choose where they want to live, it gives them a variety.

And we’re working on trying to get more locations available, different cities available. And you know, just so that people again, are, are being able to live where they want to live.

Ruth Bigus: [00:07:44] We’re seeing all these apartments going up in the County. And I often wonder. Who’s living there, and some of them are not inexpensive to say the least.

So it’s gotta be kind of a challenge, I would think.

Brandy Hodge: [00:07:54] Definitely. Definitely, yes. So and, and on that program, then we have David Ward who is the housing director for that as well. And so he definitely could speak to what’s going on with the housing development and what we’re doing, what initiatives we’re going.

In that area. What other

Ruth Bigus: [00:08:12] programs are within that whole housing area? Are there like weatherization?

Brandy Hodge: [00:08:18] We no longer do weatherization. We actually work with econ, which is out of Ottawa. And so if someone needs weatherization, we would just refer them out to another agency. but we do have a minor home program and a home program, which help, who people who own their homes, who are low income, that will help them with.

home repairs. A lot of it is led. Abatement is getting, you know,

Ruth Bigus: [00:08:41] so in this problem, I would right

Brandy Hodge: [00:08:42] site a different city site of violations helping with those. And so we have a great team that goes out and they do inspections. Again, we work with private contractors who do the work and it just helps people get their house up to code to where they can, again, Asian place and live there as long as possible.

Ruth Bigus: [00:08:59] And not pay penalties,

Brandy Hodge: [00:09:00] correct. Correct. Absolutely.

Ruth Bigus: [00:09:02] We forget that those are part of the whole. The whole mix. Let’s talk about your third area.

Brandy Hodge: [00:09:08] Our third area is what I know the most about cause I’m on the outreach team. And so outreach services is basically where we partner with a lot of different nonprofits to just bring services to community level, helping low income neighbors in need with different a variety of services.

Our bread and butter is what we. Is the utility assistance program. We have a half million dollar budget for that, and it’s really helping those with pastor utilities to, help them with those past due bills.

Ruth Bigus: [00:09:36] So how does somebody get into the system?

Brandy Hodge: [00:09:39] We have one number for that as well. for that number, it’s nine one three seven one five, six, six, five, three.

And what they do is they call that number, they get screened and then based on their zip code, would be what center they go to. We have four different locations where they can go, when they are meeting with one of our. S a S staff. Basically the staff can kind of assess to see if there’s additional needs.

Do they need food pantry? Are there other areas that where we could free up money that they could use towards other things? cause a lot of people need assistance and more areas that we can’t help with. So if we free up areas like food, then they can spend that money on additional bills that they may have.

We also are a vendor for the Kansas city medicine cabinet. So one of our great partnerships is working with, we work with the department of corrections currently. And so we go out to the adult residential center in Gardner. And when people, are in their custody, they can actually get eyeglasses. And there is a lot of people who are currently in custody who.

Who need those, you know? And then that also helps with your self esteem. That helps you when you get your jobs that may help with behavioral issues, headaches, medical, different things like that. So that’s one service that we’re helping kind of cross departmental, partner partnership that we started this year.

Ruth Bigus: [00:10:56] And so working with medicine. ,

Brandy Hodge: [00:10:59] the Cassidy medicine cabinet. Do

Ruth Bigus: [00:11:01] they provide the medication? Do they come and do screening?

Brandy Hodge: [00:11:04] How does that work? So basically people would come in, we provide a voucher for services and there’s certain vent. There’s different locations that they can go to to get eyeglasses, to get their prescription drugs for durable medical equipment.

Like hearing AIDS, we can help with those things. we’re not, you know, a lot of people think if, you know, Oh, I’m going to come in and get an eye exam in your office. We’re not the doctor. So we would just get, basically we do the screening process or to determine the eligibility and we’re making sure that people provide their income qualifications and all their information that we need for, proof of proof of residency and things like that.

And then we provide the voucher.

Ruth Bigus: [00:11:41] What else falls under outreach. It’s a pretty robust thing on your website. I know. I kept going, Oh wow, you do this and you do this and you do this.

Brandy Hodge: [00:11:48] Another thing that we add have started working with as we work with the school districts. That’s a big partnership. We work with project home, which is the, the Shawnee mission school district.

And we work with impact Aletha and that’s through Aletha school district, and that is helping the McKinney Vento families who are at or near homeless, and it’s helping them. We basically, not we, but we’re a partner of their agencies. We all kind of create a one stop shop where they may have 10 to 20 different nonprofits in a room and they get all these families together and people partner.

So we may be able to help someone with a couple hundred dollars but if we partner with local churches and we partner with salvation army or Catholic charities, we can build together more money to help these families either prevent homelessness or even help them, you know, reconnect utilities and things like that.

Ruth Bigus: [00:12:38] How big of an issue is. Homelessness in Johnson County,

Brandy Hodge: [00:12:41] it’s definitely a huge issue. Um. I, I know that it’s, it’s definitely, you know, a hot topic here in Johnson County and one of the areas that we work with is the prevention side. So we are really trying to help people because once you know, someone is evicted and they’re homeless, then it’s a lot, you know, the steps to get them.

Housed is a lot more advanced and it’s just more than what the resources that we have that we can handle at this point.

Ruth Bigus: [00:13:07] You’re trying to be the preventative,

Brandy Hodge: [00:13:09] the preventative gets to that

Ruth Bigus: [00:13:10] point. The impression I get, and I know this is not your deep dive area, is Bobby has been in California before and he’s just commented every time when he comes back, how much homelessness and how visible it is.

It seems here in Johnson County, you don’t. See that picture the same way you may see it

Brandy Hodge: [00:13:30] absolutely.

Ruth Bigus: [00:13:31] In their communities, it’s more

Brandy Hodge: [00:13:32] hidden. It is. It’s a lot. It’s hidden because people sleep in their cars. People also are, you know, sleeping on people’s couches. You know, couch surfing that it’s definitely hidden.

We don’t have people, you know, in Johnson County, not visible on streets and things, but there are homeless camps in the community.

Ruth Bigus: [00:13:51] You’re working with people who have some need. Mental health often comes into that picture. So does, what does your department do? Do you team up with the ed health department?

So how do you all work? Because these are complex. Situations.

Brandy Hodge: [00:14:09] Absolutely. There’s a lot of crossover between the departments, any of the social service agencies. And so if we can, and a client has signed a release, then we can work together, you know, again, cause a confidentiality and HIPAA, then we have to make sure that we’re following those standards.

But there’s a lot of crossover. Mental health refers a lot of clients to our services, whether it may be transportation through the catch ride program to get them to. Mental health appointments or get them to medical appointments or grocery store. for health and environment, we’re definitely, you know, letting people know what, when, where the clinics are, what services can be provided, immunizations, things like that.

Just to make sure that people are aware of how many awesome things that the County provides.

Ruth Bigus: [00:14:52] How can people find out. About any of

Brandy Hodge: [00:14:56] this. Definitely just go to the Joko gov website, www dot  dot org and I think, you know, using the search tool, you know, at the very top, typing in things should help you find things.

if not, there’s always, you know, a connect page where you can actually go to a contact page and they’ll connect you with the right department. for services. The County provides so many things that a lot of people just aren’t aware about.

Ruth Bigus: [00:15:22] Right? That’s right. As I was tooling through it, that’s what I noticed.

You said. You guys can use some volunteers. So how do people

Brandy Hodge: [00:15:30] yes, do that. We host our volunteer orientations twice a month, and so we’ll have one coming up the first Tuesday in December, and that is from one to three at early. The office located off a hundred 18th in Ridgeview. Our biggest need is always for the catcher ride program, taking people to the grocery store or doctor appointments, social service agencies, as well as the home delivered meals, meals on wheels program.

You’re taking, you know, providing the noon lunch to people. we always need food, dries for our food pantries, and also can’t accept monetary donations.

Ruth Bigus: [00:16:04] Brandy, thank you for coming in and giving us the nuts and bolts of all things human services. It’s great to have you and you’ll keep us up to date on things.

Yeah, no, they keep developing.

Brandy Hodge: [00:16:14] Right? Ever-changing,

Ruth Bigus: [00:16:16] ever-changing. Thank you for listening to KC Cares. Kansas city’s nonprofit digital resource were produced by charitable communications. A five Oh one C three nonprofit organization. KC Cares is generously underwritten by the Ewing Marion Kauffman foundation.

And if you’ve liked what you’ve heard and you want to support. KC Cares. Go to KC Cares online.org and if you want to be a guest, check out our website. You can spread the love and find us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter if he’s, he cares online. Thanks to the Prairie fire museum. Come check it out.

Great resource of glad to be here and thank you for listening to KC Cares on ESPN 15:10 AM. And 94.5 FM .

Previous Episodes!

KC Cares Episode 338 | Nonprofit Stories and Information

Kansas City’s Nonprofit Voice!

Sharing Nonprofit stories, News, and Information!

Sharing the stories of local nonprofits and connecting them with the community! We talk with philanthropists, volunteers, community activists, executive directors, and nonprofit lovers from the Kansas City nonprofit community. Be seen, be heard with KC Cares! Kansas City’s Nonprofit Nonprofit Voice!

This week we are discussing nonprofit community theatre and day services individuals with developmental disabilities!

Theater in the Park

Tim Bair and Susan Mong

To enhance the quality of life in our community by providing a variety of entertainment programs through public and private partnerships.



Developing Potential

Amy Cox

To provide quality day habilitation services to adults with developmental disabilities and support those individuals to reach their potential and achieve a dignified, adult lifestyle. DPI is a holistic program that focuses on Body, Mind, and Spirit of the individuals we support seeking to build strength, foster independence, and be a vehicle for changing lives.



Spinning Tree Theater

Michael and Andrew Grayman-Parkhurst

Spinning Tree Theatre aims to produce works that celebrate and reflect the diversity of Kansas City itself by exploring a variety of cultures and art forms through theatre, music and dance.



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