KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The city is launching a new action plan to help the homeless find shelter during cold winter months.
It’s an effort to coordinate aid with charitable agencies.
Elected leaders and private shelter providers have started a new Houseless Shelter Dashboard Monday to better track available beds for those who need shelter.
Kansas City also has set up a “Keep Caring KC” fund for the homeless because last year, many people dropped off cash donations at the city’s Bartle Hall shelter, and Councilwoman Ryana Parks-Shaw says there were “improprieties” in the ways those donations were handled, with not all of the money reaching those who needed help.
This season, the city’s new extreme weather activation plan calls for a community center to open as an emergency shelter only when all the private shelters are full and when the daytime high is at freezing or below, or the overnight low reaches 20 degrees or below.
“Once their max capacity is met then the city will then open additional community centers as shelters,” Parks-Shaw explained. “What’s different this year than last year is that we are collaborating and utilizing the resources already in place, with experts leading us in this charge.”
Kansas City also has established a centralized community drop off center at the City Union Mission’s warehouse to accept donations of warm clothing, hygiene supplies and other items.
The city council has approved spending $650,000 to help private shelters expand their capacity and hire more staff.
Getting the homeless to use private shelters remains an issue.
Last night for example, the City Union Mission told FOX4 it had about 100 beds available for single men.