It all started with showing up to a meeting. That is how Kyle Schott’s interest in Catholic Charities transformed into his career.
Schott is currently the Regional Director of Catholic Charities for Southern Missouri (CCSOMO). He oversees the specific programs that Catholic Charities does in the local area.
Growing up in St. Louis, Schott saw all of the good that Catholic Charities of St. Louis provided to their community. When the discussion of bringing Catholic Charities to Southern Missouri began, Schott, being a licensed professional counselor, saw the potential of the agency and was interested in working with them.
“I was committed to the process [of forming Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri] and seeing it through,” said Schott. He has been there since the beginning, joining the Board of Directors to develop CCSOMO which led him to his current position as Regional Director.
The thing that amazes Schott the most about CCSOMO is the growth the agency has seen. When he took his position in 2010 it was an organization of two people. Schott has seen the team grow to more than 100 people. The most rewarding part about Schott’s job is being a part of something that has grown and filled certain areas of need in the city.
“What I relish most is being able to be a representative of our faith through the community,” said Schott. Being able to get out there and help people who need their help is what gets him out of bed each morning.
One of the largest programs Schott oversees in the Cape Girardeau area works with individuals with developmental disabilities to provide support coordination for them and their families. They serve approximately 440 clients in Cape County. Their job ensures that clients receive the services they need.
The greatest need that CCSOMO has seen in Cape Girardeau is utility assistance, which Schott explains is a symptom of overall poverty.
“There is actually opportunity in Cape to be able to lift people up,” said Schott.
There are many resources in Cape Girardeau to break people out of generational poverty, unlike more rural areas. CCSOMO provides utility assistance, rental assistance, and homelessness prevention programs, as well as many other services to help those in need.
The upcoming project that Schott is looking forward to is the capital campaign to build a crisis maternity home in Cape Girardeau. There has been success with crisis maternity homes in other cities in Missouri such as Springfield.
“It is a safe place where expecting mothers can stay, have their baby and stay up to a year after that baby is born,” said Schott. Mothers can have a safe place to stay and learn skills that can assist them with finding employment and being sustainable so they can leave and not be in the same situation that brought them there. Schott is optimistic that the Cape Girardeau community will benefit from this program.
Brenna Shea is a mass communications major with a public relations concentration at Southeast Missouri State University. This summer she plans to begin her PR career at either a digital marketing agency or a business-to-consumer corporation in the Greater St. Louis area. To learn more about her, visit her LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brennashea