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Eastwood Hills residents hear about proposed pallet shelter location

Eastwood Hills residents hear about proposed pallet shelter location
Posted at 9:15 PM, Mar 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-15 23:35:13-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Lula Lading has lived on Ozark Road in the Eastwood Hills neighborhood in Kansas City, Missouri, for almost 60-years.

She remembers looking out the window and seeing Kansas City's Municipal Farm, but since, a lot has changed since.

"It needs to be shaped down and fixed," Lading said. "They don't take care of it over there at all. They don't take care of it."

The city could address that soon by installing pallet shelters for the unhoused at the site.

KCMO councilwoman Melissa Robinson recently introduced a resolution asking the city manager to draft a plan on what it would like and how to make it happen

"I’m not really in favor of it let's say," Lading said. "I have grandkids, great grandkids and I just prefer to have it the way it is — quiet and peaceful."

So do dozens of others who live in Eastwood Hills, residents packed the community center Tuesday night to have their questions answered by the city.

"Of course I see the need, but also if you drive down, especially in our neighborhood, talk about dumping and trash," Taryn Kelly a real estate agent said. "Unfortunately, with the houseless it causes more."

Some worry the site doesn't have the infrastructure like sidewalks or reliable mass transit to support those staying at the pallet homes.

The deputy city manager told the audience that while the city has looked at other locations to put the pallet shelter, this is the only one they're actively vetting.

"What you're seeing right now with people just out in the streets, in under bridges and in what living in their cars. There's no accountability there," Kimiko Black Gilmore, the KCMO Deputy City Manager said. "They're doing the best that they can. This is not that. We are not creating just a tent city."

Although the city put down a $200,000 down payment for the 65 pallet shelters last June, finding a place for them has turned into a political hot potato.

Some people hope it can stop being one.

"I live down the street and it's the first place I've gotten on my own since I was homeless, and I love my home and I love this neighborhood," Tiffany Buckley, a Eastwood Hills resident said. "And I know that we can work together on the solution."

The resolution is on hold at City Hall, but it may be discussed in the next two weeks.