The recently released Community Focus Report indicates that nearly 26% of Springfield residents’ income is below the poverty line – which is nearly double the Missouri state average. The current rates of child abuse and neglect in Greene County remain much higher than Missouri state averages and nearly 55% of Springfield public school students qualify for free and reduced lunches. Some of our Springfield schools have a staggering number of children in poverty at over 75%! There is an urgent need for overnight shelters and a number of homes falling in disrepair.

a better quality of life

Although these statistics are startling, our community’s organizations, such as the Council of Churches of the Ozarks, are working to move the needle on poverty by coming alongside families to resource them for a better quality of life for them and their children.

Compassion is recognizing distress and showing love and kindness to help. At the Council of Churches of the Ozarks, we show compassion everyday by assisting families in crisis who need food; women in crisis seeking shelter; children who need love as they come from abuse and neglect. We do this every day in the Ozarks through a collaborative model that unites nine unique outreach services, each one helping to address the growing and urgent needs of our community.

The need cannot be denied any longer. Families, children, women and seniors are suffering in our community and we can help them.

Ambassadors for Children

Help vulnerable children in foster care gain access to self-esteem-boosting items and activities.

Ambassadors for Children provides self-esteem enhancing services for children in foster care in Greene, Christian, and Taney Counties. Foster children are equipped with comfort items in a backpack; new clothing from the Kids’ Closet, and other programs intended to offer self-confidence and a sense of personal pride.

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Childcare Food Program

Receive reimbursement for providing healthy meals in a home-based, licensed daycare

The Childcare Food Program has been providing reimbursement for home-based, licensed day cares for 35 years. Helping providers to serve nutritious, balanced meals to children helps kids get wholesome meals up to three times daily.

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Child Care Aware ® of Southern MO

Access referrals for all early childhood needs

Child Care Aware® of Southern MO has been providing families with childcare referrals since 1992. Serving child care aged children and their families in 38 counties, Child Care Aware ® of Southern MO also operates the Early Childhood One Stop, a singular destination for any type of early childhood referral need.

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Connections Handyman Service

Help licensed contractors make essential home repairs for seniors and individuals with disabilities

Connections Handyman Service provides essential home repairs to low income seniors and adults with disabilities. Connections builds ramps, replaces water heaters, and other basic home repairs to allow individuals to stay in their homes.

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Crosslines Food Pantry

Providing food for hungry families and children in Greene County

Crosslines food pantry and community resource center is Greene County’s largest food pantry. Established in 1969, Crosslines served nearly 60,000 people in 2014–a record. Serving families out of a pantry featuring a client choice model, Crosslines provides emergency food assistance in a dignified and compassionate environment.

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Daybreak Adult Care

Medically-monitored adult day care

Daybreak Adult Day Care provides seniors and adults with disabilities interactive day care. Clients participate in music, games, field trips, service projects, and more.

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Long-term Care Ombudsman Program

Help advocate for the rights of long-term care facility residents

The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program provides advocacy to residents of long term care facilities and information about resident rights.

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Read to elementary school students, provide shopping help to homebound seniors, and connect to other volunteer opportunities for seniors across the community

Connecting seniors to volunteer opportunities in the community, including meal delivery, the Homebound Shopper program, and the Reading Buddy program, a collaboration with area elementary schools.

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Safe to Sleep

Drive a van transporting homeless women to the shelter location, stay the night at the shelter location to ensure the guests' safety

Safe to Sleep provides safe, temporary overnight shelter for homeless women in the area. Hosted by two area churches, Safe to Sleep takes in an average of 30 women each night.

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