The Kansas City Public Library hosted its Coffee and Conversations event on Wednesday.
The monthly program provides resources for people who are experiencing homelessness.
"We're really trying to be more welcoming of our homeless patrons because they are patrons just like anyone else,” Kansas City Library Community Liaison Emily Luedtke said. “The library has become just a community center for everyone, and I think it's very vital that the people know that this is a place where people can go. It does not matter if you are not housed, if you don't have a job.”
This is the first Coffee and Conversations event William Knowles and his wife Felicia attended. They said they’ve been homeless for the past two weeks.
“We've helped homeless people before so being homeless here, it's kind of like an issue,” William Knowles said. “We attended because I have questions, and I need answers and everybody's situation is really different so we have to have more people like this because this library has people in the streets coming in here.”
Attorneys Malik James and Brian Noland were guest speakers at the event, providing legal advice to the Knowles family and other attendees.
“Brian and I decided why don't we just show up at a library, let people know if you have a legal question, we'll have it for you or at the very least, if you have a legal question we can't answer, we can direct you where to go,” James said.
James said with this conversation, it allows him and Noland to help point attendees in the right direction.
“What we try to do is offer very simple information, legal knowledge for people who can navigate their everyday lives and not need an attorney or at least know when they do need an attorney,” James said.
The program has been going on since last October, with different themes each month.
Luedtke said the event has grown a lot in the last five months.
“We've had a lot more people show up. A lot of community service providers have noticed it and it's gotten more attention,” Luedtke said.
The next Coffee and Conversations event is April 19 at 10:30 a.m. at the Central library.
For more information on the program, click here.
Rae Daniel can be reached at Rae.Daniel@KSHB.com.