‘Learning to Earning’ opens in KCK

Kansas City, Kan., Mayor Mark Holland, Metro Lutheran Ministry Board of Directors President Christy Schliesman, staff members, supporters and friends joined Nov. 17 for the official opening of MLM’s new KCK Learning to Earning program at 750 Armstrong Ave. (Photo from Metro Lutheran Ministries)
Kansas City, Kan., Mayor Mark Holland, Metro Lutheran Ministry Board of Directors President Christy Schliesman, staff members, supporters and friends joined Nov. 17 for the official opening of MLM’s new KCK Learning to Earning program at 750 Armstrong Ave. (Photo from Metro Lutheran Ministries)

by Dale Garrison
An enthusiastic crowd braved chilly weather to officially open Metro Lutheran Ministry’s new Learning to Earning program at 750 Armstrong Ave. in downtown Kansas City, Kan., Nov. 17.

Led by Kansas City, Kan., Mayor Mark Holland and MLM Board of Directors President Christy Schliesman, staff members, supporters and friends launched the new location and expanded services. Focusing on financial literacy and job assistance,

Learning to Earning has been successful serving the community from MLM’s Central offices at 3031 Holmes, Kansas City, Mo., a spokesman said. The new location will allow access for more residents in need and expanded services.

Learning to Earning is designed to help participants manage their lives and solve the problems that many homeless and low-income residents face.

The program includes personalized coaching, assistance with work placements, help in completing the GED and other types of support. By utilizing the resources available through MLM’s community care and emergency assistance programs, Learning to Earning is able to deliver high-quality bundled services in an effective, efficient manner from a competent, compassionate staff who are sensitive to our citizens’ needs, desires, and struggles.

For additional information, contact MLM’s Learning to Earning program at 816-931-0027 or visit www.mlmkc.org.

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Will a cluster mailbox be coming to your neighborhood next?

by Mary Rupert

Cluster mailboxes, an idea that has been proposed to make the postal service more efficient, have found their way to the Highland Crest and Cathedral neighborhoods, according to a Kansas City, Kan., resident.

Joan Spero, a Kansas City, Kan., resident who has served as a district liaison with the National Association of Letter Carriers and Auxiliary, appeared before a Unified Government Committee on Monday night to talk about cluster mailboxes.

Spero said one group of cluster mailboxes is about four blocks from her residence. She expressed her belief that house-to-house mail delivery is a right of postal customers.

She said it is up to the postal customer, part of the Postal Operations Manual, whether or not his mail is delivered to his house or to a cluster mailbox. She said people who live in a neighborhood have to be asked if they want to have cluster boxes before they are installed.

Spero said she was concerned about safety and health of residents, especially elderly residents, who might have to walk a distance to get their mail. Some are not physically able to walk that distance, she said. Also, she said she was concerned about theft from cluster mailbox break-ins. There has already been a theft ring involving cluster mailboxes in Johnson County, she said, citing a news article.

In August, she said, a switch was made to cluster boxes for 28 homes in the Highland Crest area, with the reason given that a mail carrier was bitten by a dog. Spero said she had talked with the letter carrier and discovered that it was a slight injury, it did not break the skin, the letter carrier received a Band-Aid and returned to work the next day. There haven’t been serious dog bites to carriers in the Kansas City, Kan., area for more than 20 years, she said.

“We would like you to let your constituents know what their rights are,” Spero told the commissioners.

She also said residents wrote to U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder to see what they could do about it.

The postal service spokeswoman for this area, Stacy St. John, was contacted for a response and said that she had not heard what was said at the meeting, and so she could not comment on it.

Using cluster boxes is part of postal reform nationwide because it is the most efficient way to serve customers, she said.

It was part of a postal reform bill that has not been approved by Congress. At this time, district managers approve delivery mode changes, St. John said. There is no movement for customers to involuntarily change their mode of delivery. If customers wanted to change to cluster boxes, the postal service would take that into consideration, she said.

To reach Mary Rupert, editor, email maryr@wyandottepublishing.com.