Frigid temperatures lead to homeless shelter overcrowding

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The City Union Mission Men's Emergency Shelter was over capacity Tuesday.

The emergency shelter holds 300 men and Tuesday, the shelter was forced to pack 341 homeless men into the building at 1100 East 11th Street. It is one of the largest men's homeless shelters in the Kansas City Metro Area.

Dan Doty, Executive Director of the City Union Mission, said volunteers have been working overtime to clean linens and provide meals for the hundreds of men who line the walls of the shelter every day.

"We have to say to people calling in, 'I'm sorry there's not enough space please call again tonight.' Most of the time, people are able to stay one more night with family or friends but not always.  Many spend the night in abandoned cars and unheated apartments and that's not good, especially for families. It's very cold," he said.

Doty said it is not unusual for the shelter to be packed during the frigid winter months, but the City Union Mission is always in need of support.

"We're always in need of all kinds of canned foods, fresh fruits and fresh vegetables are always helpful and protein. All of those things are helpful, especially when the numbers keep growing," said Doty.

There are volunteer opportunities at the City Union Mission. They can be found at cityunionmission.org.

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