Kansas City opens overflow warming shelters for the homeless

Kansas City opens overflow warming shelters for the homeless
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Kansas City has opened overflow warming shelters for the homeless. There’s such high demand that the regular shelters can’t meet the need.We talked with one man inside the shelter who says he knows someone who recently died trying to stay warm in temperatures like this. It’s extremely dangerous, and that’s what makes the work that the shelter and volunteers are doing that much more important.”Yes, we get a lot of people that come into the shelter because they have frostbite, but we also have a lot of people coming into the shelter with burns because they’ve gotten too close to the fire or they’ve gotten too close the propane tank,” said the Rev. Randy Fikki, of Unity Southeast Church.Fikki started this shelter in his church. Now he’s the lead coordinator for the city during extreme temperatures and high demand.”Right now, we’re set up for 100 beds,” Fikki said.He said they will all get used. The shelter has three rooms each filled with snacks, blankets, and first aid.”We can love them and care for them and let them know that they matter, that they are seen, that they are heard and that they are going to get taken care of,” Fikki said.Volunteers make the shelter possible. They prefer eight guests for every one leader.”We are indebted to all of our volunteers,” Fikki said. “Without volunteers, this would not happen.”Donations of food and water keep the shelter running.”Think about what you would want in an evening when you are just relaxing. Potato chips go a long way. Oreos go better,” Fikki said.The city buses people to the location. Each person will have a cot, pillow and blankets and protection from the cold.”Lives are valuable. They are more valuable than buildings. They are more valuable than shelters. They are more valuable than red tape, and they are more valuable than opinions. Let’s focus on lives first,” Fikki said.The warming center will be open Thursday and Friday nights. Each guest going to the overflow location must get a referral from City Union Mission or another shelter.

Kansas City has opened overflow warming shelters for the homeless. There’s such high demand that the regular shelters can’t meet the need.

We talked with one man inside the shelter who says he knows someone who recently died trying to stay warm in temperatures like this. It’s extremely dangerous, and that’s what makes the work that the shelter and volunteers are doing that much more important.

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“Yes, we get a lot of people that come into the shelter because they have frostbite, but we also have a lot of people coming into the shelter with burns because they’ve gotten too close to the fire or they’ve gotten too close the propane tank,” said the Rev. Randy Fikki, of Unity Southeast Church.

Fikki started this shelter in his church. Now he’s the lead coordinator for the city during extreme temperatures and high demand.

“Right now, we’re set up for 100 beds,” Fikki said.

He said they will all get used. The shelter has three rooms each filled with snacks, blankets, and first aid.

“We can love them and care for them and let them know that they matter, that they are seen, that they are heard and that they are going to get taken care of,” Fikki said.

Volunteers make the shelter possible. They prefer eight guests for every one leader.

“We are indebted to all of our volunteers,” Fikki said. “Without volunteers, this would not happen.”

Donations of food and water keep the shelter running.

“Think about what you would want in an evening when you are just relaxing. Potato chips go a long way. Oreos go better,” Fikki said.

The city buses people to the location. Each person will have a cot, pillow and blankets and protection from the cold.

“Lives are valuable. They are more valuable than buildings. They are more valuable than shelters. They are more valuable than red tape, and they are more valuable than opinions. Let’s focus on lives first,” Fikki said.

The warming center will be open Thursday and Friday nights. Each guest going to the overflow location must get a referral from City Union Mission or another shelter.

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