KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Temperatures and wind chills are expected to dip to dangerously cold levels Wednesday night, Thursday morning and remain cold throughout the weekend.
Wednesday night coats, blankets, gloves and scarves were loaded up into Care Beyond the Boulevard’s green bus.
“The preventative things we can do is to provide extra layers of warmth. Death happens every year in Kansas City when it’s cold we lose patients who live on the streets every year,” Care Beyond the Boulevard Founder Jaynelle Assmann said.
The Greater Kansas City Coalition to End Homelessness estimates roughly 1800 people in Kansas City are homeless.
Outside City Hall in a park where some of them often spend their nights a ceremony on the longest night of the year for National Homeless Persons Memorial Day was held.
Amber Bauer read 45 names with tributes from loved ones, but says that number likely barely scratches the surface of deaths mostly due to cold and heat.
“I don’t want to cry but I’m very close to a lot of them so it’s very personal to me and we have to do better,” Bauer said weeping openly.
Kansas City says its worked with shelters to add 150 beds. Homeless service organizations say it’s not enough.
“We deal with this every year and we need to be proactive instead of reactive but it seems like we get to the coldest night of the year here we are and we’re scrambling for services,” Assmann said.
“We don’t have enough rooms even if everyone was willing to go inside there’s not enough space,” Bauer said.
Homeless service organizations FOX4 spoke with explained some people choose not to go to shelters based on restrictions or a myriad of other factors.
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