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The hidden homeless of rural Kansas and Missouri

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Homelessness in urban areas is often visible on city sidewalks or public encampments. In rural Kansas and Missouri, unhoused people often go unseen — and unhelped. Plus, Missourians voted to expand Medicaid in 2020, making government-provided health insurance available to tens of thousands of low-income residents. But the change could also mean more layers of bureaucracy for hospitals.

There have been plenty of conversations had about affordable housing and homelessness in metropolitan areas, but how do these issues appear in more rural parts of Missouri and Kansas? Cami Koons, a reporter for Kansas City PBS, delved into the issue and shares her findings.

Last year, Missourians voted to expand the Medicaid, making government-provided health insurance available to some 250,000 people. Since August, more than 17,000 people have applied for Medicaid in the state, which could be a boon for hospitals and the previously uninsured. But as Sebastián Martínez Valdivia reports, the road ahead isn’t exactly straightforward.

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Kansas City Today is hosted by Nomin Ujiyediin. It is produced by Byron Love and edited by Gabe Rosenberg & Lisa Rodriguez

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As a newscaster and a host of a daily news podcast, I want to deliver the most important and interesting news of the day in an engaging and easily understandable way. No matter where you live in the metro or what you’re interested in, I want you to learn something from each newscast or podcast – and maybe even give you something to talk about at the dinner table. You can email me at nomin@kcur.org and find me on Twitter @NominUJ.
As an on-demand producer, I am focused on using my skills and experiences across multiple digital applications, platforms and media fields to create community focused audio, video and on-demand products for KCUR Studios. The media that I produce aims to inform, entertain and connect with the Kansas City metro area as we continue to learn from each other. Email me at byron@kcur.org.