KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The deadline is looming for the extension of the initiative that places the members of the houseless population in hotels across Kansas City.
Some participants in the Lotus Care House program fear once the July 7 deadline hits, the program will not be extended, causing many people to end up back on the streets.
Alfredo Palacol said the organization received emails concerning local businesses complaining about participants in the program loitering in the area and causing disturbances.
“We’ve had folks with behavioral issues, they wander into some of the neighboring hotels and they had some disturbances there,” he said.
FOX4 spoke with several businesses, who declined to be identified, that confirmed experiencing various issues including theft and violence stemming from some program participants.
Palacol says while everyone has a right to go as they please, he hopes businesses remember many of the people in the program are experiencing health and mental concerns that need to be addressed.
“Everyone should have the right to go wherever they want,” he says.”[But] at the end of the day these are humans in the hotels, cutting these numbers mean they end up in the streets, and we don’t want that.”
As a solution, Palacol said they brought on extra security to help curb the behavior. He says the voice of the community can make a difference.
“If there is enough community drive for folks to say they don’t want this in the community, obviously they have to comply, but if there is enough support from the community as a whole and they want to support, that’s just as equally powerful,” he said.
Program participant Lisa Ray says the initiative is the difference between life and death for her, and she wants her peers to realize how fortunate they are for clean place to stay. She says she hopes businesses can extend grace to those in the program.
“Give us a chance,” she said. “Don’t let us just let us fall one time and kick us while we are down, give us a little more patience.”