© 2024 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Kansas City launches new extreme weather plan for homeless people

Ways To Subscribe
A man who identified himself as "Jason" found some shelter Thursday morning in an alcove outside Auditorium Plaza Garage. He spent the night in Bartle Hall but was uncertain where he would go during the day to keep warm and was unaware of the extreme cold heading this way.
Carlos Moreno
KCUR 89.3
On February 12, 2021, a man who identified himself as Jason spent the night in Bartle Hall but was uncertain where he would go during the day to keep warm and was unaware of the extreme cold heading his way.

The bitter cold spells of last winter spurred the city to find a better way to assist those without shelter this year.

Kansas City has put together a plan to give homeless people shelter when they need it most — when brutal cold makes the outdoors especially dangerous.

Fifth District Kansas City Councilwoman Ryana Parks-Shaw describes the plan as a "comprehensive, collaborative strategy that the city coordinated with ... those who are serving the houseless population, to establish somewhat of a triage system that will allow us to really work in tandem to help those who are experiencing houselessness."

Specific criteria will set the plan into motion, including when the temperature stays at 32 degrees or below and local shelters are reaching capacity.

Parks-Shaw says the city spent three months in meetings with local shelter providers with hundreds of years of combined experience to draw up the plan.

Stephanie Boyer's organization, reStart, has been serving Kansas City's homeless population for 40 years. She says the last 18 months have seen a continuous "upward trajectory of people calling seeking shelter, particularly for families," about five times as many families as previously seen.

Boyer is hopeful the city plan "will also help us to guide resources into a year-round issue of lack of resources for particular people."

Stay Connected
When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.
As Up To Date’s senior producer, I construct daily conversations that give our listeners context to the issues of our time. I strive to provide a platform that holds those in power accountable, while also spotlighting the voices of Kansas City’s creatives and visionaries that may otherwise go unheard. Email me at zach@kcur.org.
As senior producer of Up To Date, I want our listeners to hear familiar and new voices that shine light on the issues and challenges facing the myriad communities KCUR serves, and to expose our audiences to the wonderful and the creative in the Kansas City area. Just as important to me is an obligation to mentor the next generation of producers to ensure that the important conversations continue. Reach me at alexanderdk@kcur.org.
KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and award-winning podcasts.
Your donation helps keep nonprofit journalism free and available for everyone.