As a ministry that is based in Kansas City, we have a biblical mandate to help the downcast, the broken and the hurting. In today’s terms, that means helping the homeless. The truth is there is a lot of help out there for them in the city that many people just don’t know about. This is an attempt to help a homeless person or someone who cares about them to find resources.
Addressing the issue of homelessness in Kansas City is a hard issue to address because there is a lot of stereo types about what it is and how they ended up homeless. Many of them are drunks and drug addicts but many of them are just down on their luck, have disabilities or had some traumatic experience.
Kansas City is the bread basket of America and it is a melting pot of people for the region. In the days of old, people would come from Nebraska and Iowa to trade their grains for meat that was driven here by the ranchers in Texas. As a result, the city grew very quickly. Today, it is still a regional hub and that results in homeless people finding their way to the epic center of commerce as well.
This guide is more about where to turn than addressing the biblical issue of homelessness. Jesus did say He didn’t have a place to lay His head and Paul was eager to serve the poor in Galatia.
There is several options for people needing to get out of the elements. Each of them have their own policies and their own set of rules. It o fiis best to contact them to find out more.
City Union Mission is the largest emergency homeless shelter in the Midwest. Its’ main building is based at 10th and Troost. They will accept any man until 2am every night of the week. The requirements for staying there is to attend chapel at 6:30pm nightly, pay $1 for services (or help clean something), and meet with a case manager. You can reach them at 816-474-9380.
They also have shelters for women and for families. The women’s shelter just off Prospect and I-70. They have over 140 beds in a converted school to help women and families. They are required to do the same things as the men.
Another popular homeless shelter among the men is Kansas City Rescue Mission. It is located at 13th and Cherry. They have limited room for men and they only accept people from 3-5 in the afternoon. They can reached at (816) 421-7643.
There is also a place called Restart that is based at 918 E 9th St. It is in front of the park between 9th and 10th that is known locally as Jurassic Park. They can be contacted by calling 816-472-5664. They seem to have a policy to accept anyone and do not require church attendance. rs
There are some other shelters that I am not aware of and this list will be added to the list as I learn about them in the future.
Day Centers for the homeless in Kansas City
There is mainly two place that can help the homeless during the day that operate downtown Kansas City. One of them by the shelters on the east side of the Central Business District just off The Paseo. The other one is just beside Bartle Hall or the Kansas City Convention Center.
The most popular one in called Hope Faith Ministries that is based at 705 Virginia Ave. It is on the corner on Admiral Ave and Virginia. They open up every morning at six in the morning and close at two in the afternoon besides on Saturday, they are open until three. They are closed on Sundays.
At Hope Faith, the homeless can get breakfast and lunch as well as help for medical needs among other things such as using a computer. On Saturday mornings, they also give away clean clothes and a place for a 20 minute shower. You can find out more by calling them at 816-471-4673.
The other day center is on the other side of downtown. It is called Morning Glory Ministries or as the homeless call it “the gold dome.” (Not really a dome but a steeple) It is the ministry of Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. They serve breakfast during the week and have lunch on the weekend. They also help people who need clothes and other critical services.
If you know of other day centers in Kansas City for the homeless population, please let us know so we can update this article as well.
Medical and Mental Health Care
The most pressing need of the homeless and probably the hardest to manage istake the medical and mental health. There are a few options for them if they will take advantage of them.
The first line of help is seeing a nurse in whichever homeless shelter they are staying in. If they are not in a shelter, there is limited medical care at Hope Faith Ministries on Saturdays (and help for medicines as well).
Swope Health Services on Blue Parkway sends a bus around to the homeless shelters and places that serve the homeless to bring them to the medical clinic if they need to see a doctor for medical, mental health, vision or dental care. They have a special program for the homeless called Outreach so they pay nothing for most services.
Truman Medical Center on Hospital Hill also sees the homeless on a pro bono basis. They are a full fledged hospital that can help them with any acute service they need. They have specialized doctors to visit as well. For the homeless, they have a “gold card” program that gives them services for free in most cases. In rare cases, there is a charge under $10.
For veterans, the VA Medical Center on Linwood Blvd is a resource for medical services and mental health. There is also a special office called Veteran Community Project that is on 89th and Troost. Veterans get a free unlimited bus pass that is good for three years.