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Kansas City shelters can now help keep houseless individuals warmer longer

Homelessness in Kansas City has reached a new city high
Posted at 9:59 PM, Nov 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-26 14:07:59-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Recent votes in the November election will keep homeless Kansas Citians safer for longer this winter.

"They're already wondering, 'Where will I spend this evening?'" said Reverend Randy Fikki with Unity Southeast KC. "They're already anticipating what buildings might be open today so that when they close tonight maybe the furnace will still be warm, so they have something to lean up against."

Unity Southeast KC has positioned itself to be part of the solution.

Fikki and volunteers have been busy at Hope Faith, just east of downtown KCMO, assembling an overnight warming shelter capable of taking in around 100 people each night.

He says this year is different for local shelters as they will be able to open Dec. 1 regardless of what the thermometer reads.

"It used to be dictated by the temperature, so if the temperature fell below 20 degrees, we were given the green light to open our doors," Fikki said.

A recent public vote supports better funding to help the unhoused, which means shelters can open for longer and buy more supplies.

Beyond funding, Fikki says the best contribution is time.

"We should not be looking away," Fikki said. "We should be looking within ourselves and asking, 'What are we made of? Who are we here to be? What are we being called to do? What are we being called to say? When are we being called to do it?'"

The shelter is always looking for volunteers and donations.

To learn how to contribute, click the link to Unity Southeast here.