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Shelter KC seeking volunteers, donations for 500 emergency heat kits

Kits to be used for guests experiencing homelessness
Shelter KC summer
Posted at 5:32 PM, Jun 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-17 19:14:13-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Sometimes people experiencing homelessness can deal with it just a little better during the spring and summer compared to the winter, but not on days with 100 degree heat.

"Today? (I'm) Super hot. (I'm) Burning up," Rufus Dean, a guest at Shelter KC said. "You walking out in there, you back in and out. And you be thirsty as all get-out. And you running for, trying to find somewhere to cool off."

Because of the heat, Shelter KC is allowing their guests to stay throughout the day, offering lunch and expanded services.

Normally, guests check in during the afternoon, spend the night and leave the next morning.

"Once I got back in this cool air, I've been attacking that water fountain," Dean said.

Dean said it's hard trying to navigate doctors appointments on public transit during the heat.

"For a guy out on the streets throughout the day, that can be pretty rough and the sun can really beat down on them," James Kohoutek, director of the men's center said."So that's why we're working on these emergency kits, with sunscreen, bottled water and a granola bar, to help them get through the day. A tool for guys who are staying out on the streets as well."

Shelter KC wants to fill 500 emergency kits but only have one basket-full of a few sunscreen bottles, two boxes of granola bars and some chapstick.

The organization still needs help with donations.

"Whether it's volunteering, getting involved in a chapel service, serving food, packing a bag full of emergency goods to hand out to the guys or donations, it takes a village," Kohoutek said. "And we know that Kansas City has a big heart and that's why we're here."

Shelter KC is located at 1520 Cherry Street in Kansas City, Missouri. People can drop off donations any time.