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Starting July 16 Kansans Can Call 9-8-8 During Metal Health and Substance Abuse Emergencies

July 15, 2022

Today, Governor Laura Kelly ceremonially signed Senate Bill 19, bipartisan legislation that launches 9-8-8 as the official 24/7 three-digit dialing code for the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. Beginning Saturday, July 16, Kansans and all Americans can call 9-8-8 during mental health and substance abuse emergencies. Governor Kelly joined Sedgwick County Commissioners, legislators, and local advocates for the celebration at the Sedgwick County Courthouse.

“With 9-8-8, we are on the path to reversing our country’s mental health crisis and getting Kansans the help they need,” Governor Kelly said. “Just as every American knows to call 9-1-1 in times of emergency, every American – and every Kansan – will soon know to call 9-8-8 when they or a loved one is facing a mental health or substance abuse crisis.”

Governor Kelly announced in January of this year that the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) received the Lifeline’s 9-8-8 State Planning Grant through the nonprofit Vibrant Emotional Health to develop plans to build the infrastructure for and grow access to the Lifeline’s new three-digit 9-8-8 number. Governor Kelly signed SB 19 in June so that going forward, each July 1 $10 million in state general funds will be appropriated to fund 9-8-8 with no access fee for Kansans.

The new “9-8-8 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline” will connect callers to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and offer a broader range of services for people experiencing a mental health crisis or substance use crisis. Callers will be connected to resources in their local community and to in-person crisis services where available. Kansans who dial 9-8-8 will be routed to a local crisis specialist trained to address unique concerns and needs, which may include assessment, stabilization, referral, and follow-up.

“Kansas is the 14th state to fund 9-8-8 through legislation and we are excited for the national launch of 9-8-8,” KDADS Behavioral Health Services Commissioner Andrew Brown said. “KDADS has been working throughout the Kelly Administration to increase the infrastructure in Kansas for suicide prevention and crisis intervention in preparation for 9-8-8. This will be the first of several milestones that will help Kansans experiencing a crisis get improved access to the help they need during a crisis.”

KDADS partnered with the Kansas Suicide Prevention HQ, Johnson County Mental Health, COMCARE of Sedgwick County, HealthSource Information Solutions, and TBD Solutions LLC, to develop clear roadmaps to address coordination, capacity, funding, and communications surrounding the launch of 9-8-8 and collaborated with state leadership, suicide prevention experts, people with lived experience, and others to create a 9-8-8 implementation plan and support the Lifeline’s operational, clinical, and performance standards that allow access to care.

Individuals will still be able to access the 10-digit National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) after the July 16 implementation of 9-8-8. The current Lifeline and 9-8-8 will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via call, text, or chat. All phone service providers are required to connect callers who dial 9-8-8 to the Lifeline.

Older Americans Act Celebrating 50 Years!

May 4, 2022
The Older Americans Act (OAA) established the Administration on Aging, the first federal agency designed to address the struggles of older Americans. This year, the OAA is celebrating their 50th Anniversary, their theme for Older Americans Month (OAM) 2022 is “Age My Way.” This special recognition provides an opportunity for all of us to explore the many ways older adults can remain in and be involved with their communities. The OAA funds critical services that keep our nation’s seniors healthy and independent services like meals, job training, senior centers, health promotion, benefits enrollment, caregiver support, transportation, and more.
Take part in OAM no matter what your age. Get involved and learn more by visiting or follow #OlderAmericansMonth.

March For Meals With Meals On Wheels

March 1, 2022
For the last 20 years, the Meals on Wheels network has claimed the month of March as its time to join forces to strengthen the impact of its efforts and rally communities around what you all do. This year, we hope you’ll join Meals on Wheels America and programs across the country in a special March for Meals celebration honoring the 50th anniversary of the Older Americans Act Nutrition Program.
The annual March for Meals celebration commemorates the historic day on March 22, 1972, when President Nixon signed into law a measure that amended the Older Americans Act of 1965 to include a national nutrition program for seniors 60 years and older. This year, Meals on Wheels programs from across the country are joining forces for the awareness campaign to celebrate 50 years of success and garner the support needed to ensure these critical programs can continue to address food insecurity and malnutrition, combat social isolation, enable independence, and improve health for years to come.
Programs from across the country have celebrated the month of March since 2002 to increase awareness for Meals on Wheels and recruit the support needed to meet rising demand.

Senior Nutrition Program 50th Anniversary

Nutrition is a vital component of our health and well-being, especially as we age. But in communities throughout the U.S., older adults sometimes lack access to the high-quality, nutritious food they need to remain healthy and independent.
Since 1972, the national Senior Nutrition Program has been there to support older adults by providing nutrition services across the country. Funded by the Older Americans Act, the Administration for Community Living (ACL) provides grants to states to support a network of local programs that deliver nutrition services to older adults. These programs promote healthy eating, decrease social isolation, and support better health. They also provide a gateway for older adults to access other home and community-based services such as falls prevention programs, chronic disease management services, and more.
Visit ACL’s Senior Nutrition Program 50th Anniversary website to learn more about this important milestone and join the conversation on social media using hashtag #SNP50.

Atchison VITA Opportunity

February 8, 2022

The Atchison Catholic Charities will have 4 days this year
that they are doing VITA returns in the Atchison area.
Please call them to schedule your free tax return preparation.

Commodity Distribution

Wednesday, February 23, 2022
Commodities for North Brown County will be distributed from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. on
Wednesday, February 23, 2022 at Eternal Hope Family Life Center, 424 Oregon St., in Hiawatha.

Distribution for Brown County residents is first-come, first-served and income based.

Masks and social distancing required. Please enter the building and sign-in.
Thanks to everyone for their patience.

For more information, call 785-740-9001.

Kansas Relay Center

January 31, 2022

Kansas Relay is a public service which guarantees all citizens access to prompt, professional and accurate communication through the telephone.  Consumers of these specialized services, specifically individuals who are deaf, deaf-blind, hard of hearing or have difficulty speaking, can communicate on the telephone via TTY, Voice Carry Over, Hearing Carry Over, Speech-to-Speech, Spanish Relay and Captioned Telephone in order to connect with fa ily, friends or businesses with ease.

Please see the attached flyer for more information.  Kansas Relay Center 711


January 4, 2022

The VITA program is back again this year from February 16th through April 6th, 2022.  So call 785-742-7152 today to make your appointment.

click here for more info

Kansas Emergency Rental Assistance (KERA )

January 3, 2022
As many of you know, Kansas was awarded millions of dollars in emergency rental assistance funding. Most of that funding has been allocated to the Kansas Housing Resources Corporation (KHRC). To date, KHRC has paid out over $73 million in emergency rental assistance through the Kansas Emergency Rental Assistance (KERA) program, but there are still millions of dollars left that can be used to stop people from being evicted.

Since the CDC eviction moratorium was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court, evictions for nonpayment of rent have returned in full force. But, we can help tenants remain in their homes, and help landlords get compensated, by letting people know about the KERA program.

Here is what KERA can cover:
  • Up to 15 months of current and past due household rent.
  • Up to three months of prospective household rent at a time, even if the household does not have rental arrears.
  • Past due residential utility or home energy expenses for tenants (electric, as, water, sewer, and trash services), even if the household does not have rental arrears.
  • Past due or prospective internet expenses for tenants, paid in one lump sum of $750, provided the tenant household is also eligible to receive assistance for past-due rental or utility bills.
  • Additional fees associated with past-due rent or utility bills may be covered, including: reasonable late fees, rental security deposits, application or screening fees, pet fees, utility fees, parking fees, garage fees, and/or legal fees.
Originally, KHRC required tenants to provide documentation of a COVID-19 hardship, that they were experiencing a risk of homelessness or housing instability, and that their income qualified for the program. But, with the latest round of funding, KHRC can now accept signed, self-attestations from tenants. However, Tenants will still need to provide documentation that they are a renter and proof of their identity.

Attached are KHRC’s KERA program guidelines, program FAQs, the income limits by county, tenant flyer, and landlord flyer.  You can also find these documents, and others, on the KHRC website at, in English, Spanish, Dari, and Pashto.

KERA Income Limits

Tenant Flyer – English

Landlord Flyer – English

KERA Program FAQs – English