KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As temperatures continue to drop and inflation drives down donations, local homeless shelters find themselves busy and in a tight spot. 

Places like Shelter KC and City Union Mission help hundreds of men, women and children who are homeless. Foot traffic tends to pick up this time of year, as temperatures drop. 

Degrees aren’t the only low numbers these non-profits are seeing. Eric Burger with Shelter KC said there’s an urgent need for donations ahead of their Christmas at the Crossroads event on Dec. 23.

“Which is a Christmas party for Homeless adults,” Burger said. “Any of them who are living on the streets.”

Burger said they have enough socks and shoes, but urgently need hygiene items. 

“You’ve got body wash, shaving cream, toothpaste,” Burger said. 

Once they have all the items they need, Shelter KC will put them in bags. They’re hoping to give them to 600 people in need.

Church of the Resurrection volunteers help pack the bags. 

Burger said Shelter KC is halfway to their goal because they need more items. 

This year, they’re also asking people to write a personalized Christmas card. Connectivity is another basic need for people experiencing homelessness. 

“A word of encouragement or just a Christmas blessing,” Burger said. “I’ve watched as people open this. I’ve seen them go straight to the card. and pause and read that message.”

While a note is priceless, several homeless shelters said donations are down and inflation is to blame. 

“Our meal boxes that we give out at community assistance used to be around $14-$15 now well over $20 to put that same meal kit together,” City Union Mission Karl Ploeger said. “So that inflation really does drive us hard.”

City Union Mission is 9% behind on their “Celebrate Hope” campaign. 

Ploeger said it will raise more than half the money needed to support their mission.

“We don’t want to turn anybody away,” Ploeger said. “It just breaks our heart to not be able to have capacity to serve men, women and children that are homeless in the Kansas City community.”

If you would like to volunteer or donate, visit ShelterKC.org or the City Union Mission website.