Three local nonprofits will combine services at one location in southeast Wichita beginning early next year.
Guadalupe Clinic and Catholic Charities will join the Lord's Diner at its new site at 2825 S. Hillside, which opened in May.
The site has a second building that will be used by Guadalupe to provide medical services and by Catholic Charities to offer a food pantry.
The three ministries of the Catholic Diocese of Wichita struck on the idea to collaborate at one location as each researched plans to broaden its services.
Catholic Charities was mapping areas of high needs in the city, the Lord's Diner was searching for a second site, and Guadalupe was talking about a satellite clinic, said Cynthia Colbert, Catholic Charities executive director.
"We said, 'Gosh, wouldn't it be great to come together?' How could we, by working together, have a greater impact?" she said.
Lord's Diner executive director Jan Haberly said that with two buildings at its new site, it was natural for the diner to see what other services it could provide. Guadalupe and Catholic Charities were quick to seize the opportunity.
"Those other two agencies were very aware of the needs in that area," Haberly said.
Leaders of all three organizations said the area has been underserved.
Colbert and Haberly said research showed that the number of children participating in free or reduced-price lunches is extremely high in schools in the area, and there are fewer food pantries in that ZIP code.
"Thinking about our call to serve people who are poor and vulnerable, this location in the city seemed to make good sense," Colbert said.
"This is a prime location," said Marlene Dreiling, executive director of the Guadalupe Clinic. "Sometimes when patients can't come to you, you have to go to the patients."
Guadalupe and the Lord's Diner will continue operations at their existing central locations. Catholic Charities will move its main food pantry to the new site until work is completed on the St. Joseph Pastoral Center downtown.
Some renovations will be required for the new building, which is owned by the Catholic Diocese, Haberly said.
Once it opens, the three organizations will coordinate their hours, she said.
Dreiling said Guadalupe will open on a part-time basis, then expand its hours as demand in the community grows.
It will provide medical treatment, screenings, practitioner visits, education and access to medication.
Guadalupe serves only those who don't have health insurance.