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KCMO's solutions to address homelessness during winter and in the long-term

Houseless Solutions Presentation October 2021
Posted at 6:08 PM, Oct 28, 2021

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — With cold weather on its way the city is mobilizing to keep those without a roof over their head safe as they brave the elements.

Under the plan unveiled Thursday when it hits 32 degrees resources for the unhoused will funnel through the city's emergency operation center.

"At any particular day we will be able to have the shelter bed capacity available to us so that we will know where when we are getting to a point of out of expending over that capacity," Ryana Parks-Shaw, KCMO fifth district councilmember said.

That real-time information will be accessible through a hotline and an online dashboard.

For those who don't want to go a shelter, the KCATA will park warming buses near homeless camps.

"A regional response is going to be the best way to go with this because homelessness does not have boundaries," Kimiko Black Gilmore, assistant city manager for Kansas City, Missouri said.

In the meantime, the city seeks to end homelessness in six years.

There are three options leaders are recommending as long-term solutions.

The first converts the Days Inn Hotel on Linwood Blvd. near Van Brunt into transitional housing at a cost of $1.3 million dollars.

The second option expands Amethyst Place on Troost avenue by adding 37 units to serve low-income families.

The third option is to place pallet homes next to Hope Faith on Admiral and Virginia. Pallet homes range from 60 to 100 square feet, and are built from materials made to resists mold and pests. The city previously discussed plans to use pallet homes to address homelessness in May.

Although it’s expected to cost one million dollars the number of tiny homes that'll get installed is unclear.

"What we want to do is to make sure have the largest impact, the biggest bang for the buck so to say. So a lot of those things are still in the process," Jaysen Van Sickle, executive director of Hope Faith

In total the long-terms solution is expected to help 200 to 300 people but the houseless population is expected to hit 3,000 from the current 1,700-2,000.

"We know that we have a long way to go but at least we have all the experts in the room talking about gaps and how we can move forward with some sustainable solutions," Parks-Shaw told KSHB 41 News.

Members of the Department of Housing and Community Development will continue to discuss the long-term homelessness solutions when they meet on Nov. 3 at 4 p.m.