KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A local children’s shelter that serves kids in their most desperate times will soon close.
The Salvation Army says it’s closing its shelter on Linwood Boulevard in Kansas City, Missouri. They say the move comes after new federal legislation changed the priority of where they children are placed in emergency situations.
That shelter has served more than 7,200 kids since it opened in 1981, averaging about 140 per year.
The Salvation Army said recent usage had been on the decline, and with the Family First Prevention Services Act, the goal is to get children back with their families.
If that’s not possible due to factors like abuse or neglect, relatives take over or they go into foster care.
Doug Donahoo said shelters now become the fourth and final option.
“The short-term nature of the shelter was needed, but even prior the shelter could house children for 30 days,” Donahoo said. “Now, new limitations are reducing those stays to no more than 14 days.”
Missouri Governor Mike Parson signed two house bills earlier this year expanding the state’s adoption systems and foster care.
But not every local children’s shelter will close. Synergy’s Children’s Center didn’t want to comment on the Salvation Army’s decision but told FOX4 News they plan to remain open.
The Salvation Army doesn’t believe any paid staff will have to be laid off because of this, and said they’re now working to use their resources in a different way to continue to help.
“We know that there will probably be kids who need to be placed into areas where they are loved and safe, and that’s why the relatives exist, that’s why the foster homes exist,” Donahoo said.
The shelter plans to close its doors for good April 4, 2022.