Heat causing challenges for organizations working to help the homeless

Hope Faith Ministries
Posted at 9:39 AM, Jul 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-01 10:39:46-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, for the past four months, Hope Faith Ministries has been working outside of its building, partnering with several area organizations for its Homeless Assistance Campus.

The campus provides resources for people experiencing homelessness and for low-income families and also provides testing for COVID-19 in an effort to slow the spread.

"We're holding that front line because a group that has no place to go, we have to continue to be vigilant with them," Hope Faith Executive Director Jaysen Van Sickle said.

While services are now held outside to slow down the spread of the coronavirus, Van Sickle said dealing with the heat has been a new problem.

"When we first started covering this, we were dealing with cold weather," he said. "Now we're dealing with a rise in temperatures and there's only so much climate control we can provide because the best thing we can do is stay outside."

To help keep it cool for guests and staff, they've received box fan donations from Fogel-Anderson Construction Co. They've also added misting to the fans.

Big box water coils have also been constructed to provide ice water throughout the day.

And some of the water supply options come from a fire hydrant.

"We have our own fire hydrant that is literally the water source for hand washing stations, for water supply for all of our guests out here in our village," Van Sickle said. "So from that one fire hydrant, we're able to provide four hydrating stations, we're able to provide four misting fans, and an ice station, so this has been a tremendous help, especially during this time, hydration, keeping cold, all these things really come into play."

Hope Faith Leaders say the city came out to connect the fire hydrant where water filters through a box, which allows for those different water options.

During this time, while help is needed, they have opportunities for those who do want to volunteer to volunteer from afar, not in person.

"We have remained safe over the last four months because we control who comes and goes," Van Sickle said. "So when you ask what we need, we need things like cooling kits."

Cooling kits include items such as runner foil blankets and hydrating products to help keep the roughly 200 to 300 people they serve daily cool.

Hope Faith Leaders said they plan on remaining outside to provide services until October.

For more information about the Community Assistance Campus or Hope Faith during this time, click here.