We Don’t Think Anyone
Should Have to Choose
Between Rent and Medicine
The situation is heartbreaking. Many Kansas City families and individuals must make a choice between buying groceries… paying rent… or taking care of a medical need. For people on limited incomes, an unexpected medical expense can become an emergency, and being unable to afford needed care may impact an existing medical condition, reduce job opportunities and diminish quality of life.
Kansas City’s Medicine Cabinet, which began in July 2005 as a program of Baptist-Trinity Lutheran Legacy Foundation, steps in to provide short-term emergency medical assistance for those in need in metropolitan Kansas City.
Very few of Kansas City’s numerous social service agencies provide funding for short-term health care emergencies. The Medicine Cabinet focuses on this area, working with established emergency assistance agencies that already provide food, rent, utility assistance and other services.
In its first six months of operation, working with one social service agency that had three intake sites, the Medicine Cabinet assisted 262 people and provided 266 services totaling $38,000. Today, the program has provided more than $6.85 million and over 34,000 services to cover dental emergencies, diabetic supplies, durable medical equipment (including hearing aids), prescriptions, vision care and eyeglasses.
“Without Kansas City’s Medicine Cabinet, thousands of Kansas Citians would have had to make difficult choices: ‘Do I use my limited income to pay my rent or to buy life-preserving medication?’ ‘Do I have to leave my job because I can’t afford a medical product that allows me to perform it?’ As the only program in Kansas City dedicated to meeting short-term emergency medical needs, the Medicine Cabinet makes a positive, life-altering difference for local people who are struggling.”
Kansas City’s Medical Center
Emergency Assistance Committee
Members of the Emergency Assistance Committee are Baptist-Trinity Lutheran Legacy Foundation board members who oversee Kansas City’s Medicine Cabinet.