“We know that it’s going to be a concerted effort and very difficult,” Councilwoman and sponsor of the plan Ryana Parks-Shaw said in an interview with FOX4 Thursday.
“But we believe that us working together as a community and as a regional community that we can really make significant strides in reducing homelessness here in Kansas City.”
A presentation attached to the resolution online showed that 711 homeless people were unsheltered this year. That number was 408 in 2021.
Thursday’s vote on the resolution was unanimous, 12-0. The only person to not vote at all on the issue was Councilman Brandon Ellington.
Councilwoman Heather Hall has questions about how the plan’s going to be implemented though. She’s concerned about how the city’s going to staff this when they’re already short on employees, but she still supported the resolution.
“We have this really hard problem giving our department heads directives,” she said in an interview with FOX4 Thursday. “‘Go do this. Go do that. Go do this Go do that. Oh by the way, we realize you have a 30 percent staffing problem, but still add one more thing to your plate.'”
Every year, there’s about $18 million that comes into the region to fight homelessness, so Parks-Shaw said she knows this will cost that much at least.
“We’re hoping to utilize the strategic plan to seek state funding, other federal dollars and match that with some city dollars and philanthropic dollars to help us meet our goal,” Parks-Shaw said.
The resolution directs City Manager Brian Platt to implement a plan to try to end the city’s homelessness issue in three months, but there’s no word how long this effort will actually take.
Council members will be able to vote on this issue again at a later date once Platt has reported back to them.
Parks-Shaw also said the Homeless Services Task Force will be disbanded.
“We are establishing a permanent codified commission to assist with oversight over the newly adopted plan and advise the council in the future,” Parks-Shaw said in an email.
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