Kansas City’s housing and shelter plan for winter 2021

Picture of City Hall with leafless tree nearby

Leaders in City Hall continue to plan for winter housing. | Photo by the KCtoday team.

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Winter is coming. For many, the turn in the weather means hot chocolate, hand gloves, and holiday cheer. But for others, cold temps + lack of housing pose real dangers.

Kansas City leaders are working on action steps to assist vulnerable residents. The Department of Housing and Community Development shared their winter 2021 plan + City Council already approved two items of funding.

The plan

KC wants to prevent homelessness. The city has been providing federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program dollars to those struggling with making rent. The first allocation~$14 million — was completely spent, and they’re on to the second round now. Those in need can check eligibility + apply here.

KC is also working to coordinate better with existing shelters. The goal is to create an online dashboard that can pinpoint places with available beds. Overflow housing — like community centers — will aid shelters. That brings us to our funded items.

Funding so far

City Council recently approved 2 items meant to help with current and future housing needs.

  1. $650,000 to contract with external agencies providing extreme winter weather services for the houseless population.
  2. $300,000 to Amethyst Place towards the creation of 34 additional units for single mothers + children who are houseless and/or at the lowest income levels.

Future housing

The Amethyst Place funding is a part of a larger future plan to increase temporary, transitional housing options. KC has issued proposals for three major projects.

  1. Expansion of Amethyst Place: $300,000 to begin pre-construction work on a project that would double the nonprofit’s current capacity.
  2. Hotel conversion: $1.3 million to convert the Days Inn Hotel — at 5100 Linwood Blvd. — into 100 transitional units with support from KC Tenants + Lotus Care House.
  3. Semi-permanent shelters: $1 million for “tiny home” transitional housing as a part of Hope Faith Homeless Assistance Campus + assisted by Merging KC.

The DCH department is asking for public feedback on these proposals. Submit your comments here. You can also help someone you know with these cold weather resources.

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