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Kansas City councilman crafts proposal to address homelessness

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Posted at 7:42 AM, Jan 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-04 14:22:13-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Volunteers who feed people experiencing homelessness in Kansas City, Missouri, said two men experiencing homelessness died over the weekend, presumably because of the cold. Temperatures dipped into the 20s overnight.

Friends identified one of the men as Scott ‘Sixx” Eicke. Police have not publicly identified the other man.

Brandon Ellington, a Kansas City councilman representing the third district-at-large, said the story is too familiar.

He remembers Reggie Glenn dying in the cold on New Year’s Day in 2018.

“We’ve had five or four years and nothing has changed,” Ellington said Sunday.

He unveiled a proposal he hopes to bring forward over the next several weeks to prioritize homeless issues.

Ellington said his idea is to create shelters, or enclaves, at parks or empty schools and motels across the city. The shelters would provide temporary housing to people experiencing homelessness.

The shelters would be strategically located in areas near resources designed to help people find permanent housing. Ellington hopes the enclaves connect people who can help with finances, health and other resources.

“We have to start creating those entities to ensure we don’t have repeat cycles,” Ellington said.

He believes addressing homelessness can improve public health, safety and reduce blight.

Ellington hopes to find a fellow council member to co-sponsor his proposal before introducing it to the full council for a vote over the next several weeks.