City of Wichita and agencies work to end homelessness through outreach

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The coalition to end homelessness in Wichita and Sedgwick County works to connect people who are experiencing homelessness with the right housing resources.

“We are actively looking for people to join the work that we do, and we want to work with landlords. We have a lot of incentives and things that can help them help us end homelessness for people,” community impact manager for the United Way of the Plains Matt Lowe said.

Lowe says the United Way of the Plains is taking a proactive approach.

“We are working very closely together in an intentional way to go out into the encampments and try to connect with people there rather than waiting on them to come into a shelter or something like that,” Lowe said.

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Wichita and Sedgwick County leaders are trying to put all resources under one roof. However, state funding for the multi-agency center is not likely to come this year. A representative from the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness says even if the money to make it was there, the cost of upkeep might be too much.

“It is very expensive to maintain. The operating costs are very high. So you want to weigh that on a more permanent solution, which is really prioritizing the building of housing,” a senior regional advisor for the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness said.

The city is working on getting more houses. Last week, it announced the Affordable Housing Fund. It puts $5 million toward improving the existing housing stock while expanding options. Requests for proposals will open in May.

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