Paducah Cooperative Ministry (PCM) is an inter-faith ministry founded in 1973 by, and for, many local religious congregations. The ministry belongs to these congregations - it exists to support the work that they do each day. PCM is governed by this membership.
“As the weather turns (for the worse, some would say), we invariably see the cost of utilities rise,” explained PCM Financial Development Coordinator, Rhonda Gibson. “This means more and more people are seeking assistance to get those bills paid so they don't get their service disconnected.”
Aside from the major inconveniences of not being able to refrigerate your food or take a shower, heat can be the difference between life and death. PCM helps people who are facing utility disconnection and provides financial support to help them get their bills paid.
Not Enough Food
As school breaks for the holiday, many families are trying to figure out how to stretch the family food budget. Now all the kids are home all day and there are no free meals from school. PCM's food pantry is open five days a week. McCracken county residents who are in need can visit the pantry and get staple grocery items up to five times a year.
Not Enough for Rent
“Homelessness doesn't follow a calendar and it's not limited to big cities,” Gibson told me. “The first thing PCM wants to do is keep people in their homes. Our organization can provide financial assistance to renters who are facing evictions because of lack of resources.”
In the event that someone has already found themselves in a homeless situation, PCM can help in other ways. The Fresh Start Village offers a safe, home-like environment for women and children while they are working their way toward self-sufficiency.
For families, men, and instances when there are no vacancies at our shelter, PCM's Homeless and Housing Case Manager serves as a conduit to find other available shelter space, though sometimes that means facilities out-of-town. In that case, PCM also offers transportation assistance to get to the next available shelter.
What Can I Do to Help?
Like any agency, cash donations help sustain this ministry. PCM is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, so in addition to a full-heart, our donors may find tax benefits.
If you're more comfortable with in-kind donations, PCM's Food Pantry is always in need of something - things like canned fruit, saltine crackers, and rice have been in short supply for the past several weeks.
Another great non-cash idea is some warm-weather gear - things like men's and women's gloves and hats and mittens for children are imperative this time of year.
What If I Need Help?
For homeless services, you should visit PCM and bring an ID and social security card (if available). For the food pantry, you should bring a picture ID, social security cards for everyone in the household, and proof of income; check stubs, award letters, etc.
For emergency financial services including rent, utilities, non-narcotic prescriptions, bring a picture ID, social security cards for everyone in the household, proof of income (check stubs, award letters, etc.), eviction notice (for rent assistance), disconnection notice (for utility assistance) and letter from doctor (for prescription help).
Help For Seniors
PCM also distributes senior commodities to low-income seniors. There is a waiting list as they only have 400 slots, but to sign up for this monthly program, speak with Kathy Rowland at PCM.
PCM also sponsors the Emergency Meals on Wheels program for convalescing seniors who need short-term assistance with meal-delivery. Contact the McCracken County Senior Citizens Center to sign up.
PCM asks those who can, to help those in need this Holiday Season. For more information about how you can help, visit paducahcoopministry.org.
Paducah Cooperative Ministry
By examining needs, determining priorities and strategies, and implementing action, the Paducah Cooperative Ministry seeks to provide programs and services to meet human needs. They promote a spirit of trust and cooperation among individuals and groups to meet the needs of our local community. They give visibility to human needs in the city of Paducah and McCracken County and they encourage community organizations to work together to meet these needs.
An eight-member staff, led by the Executive Director, Heidi Suhrheinrich, handles the daily operations, while the 16-member Board of Directors elected from participating congregations oversees their work. The ministry is supported by annual financial and in-kind donations and pledges from member congregations, individuals, businesses, and organizations.
PCM operates in accordance with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, or familial status.