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Kansas City Convention Center to be used as homeless shelter

Named after Scott Eicke, who died in January
Scott Eicke warming center
Posted at 3:51 PM, Jan 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-29 16:51:44-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — People experiencing homelessness will have some new relief and a place to stay during the winter months at the Kansas City Convention Center.

Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas and community partners made the announcement at a news conference Friday.

The Scott Eicke Warming Center, named after a man who died in the cold on New Year's Day, will open at 6 p.m. Friday.

The center will open every day from 6 p.m. until 8 a.m. the following day through March 20.

"There is a continued growing need as we've seen in the aftermath of COVID and so it's important," said Stephanie Boyer, CEO of reStart, a nonprofit that works with people experiencing homelessness. "This is one step, we have a long ways to go and this is a great step."

There will be 150 beds available initially, but the city will expand the number of beds if needed.

City leaders said using the convention center as a shelter was necessary after the Garrison Community Center reached capacity for people.

The Garrison Center has been used a warming center since early January.

"Now we have had more folks coming in, more crowds, more issues and more challenges," Lucas said. "That's why our city government, our city administration thought it was vital for us to make sure that we look at Bartle Hall, our convention center, as a warming center."

Anyone who needs shelter should enter the convention center at West 13th and Central streets in Kansas City, Missouri.

The center will be staffed by city employees, as well as staff and volunteers from community agencies like reStart and the Greater KC Coalition to End Homelessness.