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Organizations provide bus for people experiencing homelessness, housing insecurity

warming bus for homeless
Posted at 4:40 PM, Dec 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-22 18:23:58-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — When it's this cold outside, getting people inside is the number one priority.

It was up to advocates who work with people experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity to take action.

Similar to last winter, the city and organizations provided a bus to pick people up off the street and take them to a warm place.

Many people waking up at an overnight shelter have to figure out where to go next. The bus takes away at least one thing for them to worry about.

"Everybody seems to be helpful," a man named Buddy told KSHB 41 as he waited for the bus outside Hope Faith Homeless Assistance Campus. "It's cold out here, but I think everybody is doing what they can to help everybody else."

The warming bus was all over town on Thursday. Kathy Elmore, one of the advocates who helped make it happen, said they are not operating on any schedule or route; they're going where people need help, including homeless camps and shelters, and responding to phone calls.

Elmore said by noon on Thursday; the team had bussed people to warming shelters, helped two at-risk women get to a shelter, and helped someone in a dangerous situation.

The bus is a collaboration between the Greater Kansas City Coalition to End Homelessness, Kansas City, Missouri, Parks and Recreation Department and the Downtown Council.

"Not going to lie, it's tough and it's scary, but I try to have faith and all that," a woman named Christina said. "Believe in faith and destiny and hopefully, it will be okay,"

Christina, who's not from Kansas City, has difficulty getting on her feet and the weather is not helping.

"I'm used to the cold, but not like this," Christina said. "It's different."

Buddy said he will try to go to one of the community centers and figure it out from there.

"It's about trying to stay happy in a situation where everything seems dire, but it's more along the lines of, like, there are people that can help you, there are people who care about you, and it can be better," Buddy said. "People come together and try to help each other out."

The bus will operate until 7 p.m. Thursday and could continue service Friday.