Plans put in place for downtown warming shelter for homeless

Plans are moving forward for a warming shelter around 6th and State Avenue in downtown Kansas City, Kansas.

Alan Howse, Unified Government assistant county administrator, said at the Nov. 22 UG meeting that the shelter has a lease at 550 State Ave., Kansas City, Kansas, and they are working on getting the shelter operational. Cross-Lines Community Outreach will be the operator for the cold weather shelter, he said.

Utilities, water and electricity will be from the Board of Public Utilities, he said, which is giving a reduced rate to the UG to pay heat costs.

The shelter will be operational from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. with a maximum capacity of 35 people, first-come, first-served, he said.

It will operate only at 25 degrees Fahrenheit or below, he said. It has already been colder than that on certain days earlier this season, and there were already a number of days when the threshold was met, he added.

Howse said he anticipated the shelter would be open by mid-December if not earlier. Some steps are still remaining before it goes into operation, he added. Mid-December through March 31 are the proposed dates of operation. An Emergency Services Grant from the CARES Act will fund part of the operation, according to UG information.

The shelter will decide by 8 a.m. each day whether it will be open, with information on it available at 913-214-1104.

Mayor Tyrone Garner said UG staff has jumped right at the situation and made the shelter happen. Its location and features were not an easy decision, but it was a community collaboration, with involvement from the community, he said.

The UG has a map of other current emergency warming centers, not shelters, that may be open in cold weather at