Local shelters see record demand as temperatures plunge

Published: Dec. 21, 2022 at 7:11 PM CST
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - Local shelters are reporting record demand going into a stretch of dangerously cold weather.

Hope Faith Ministries has had long lines of people seeking warmth over the last few days. The organization’s director, Doug Langner, said shelters around the city have been straining to keep up with the number of houseless people trying to find a place to stay.

“We’ve had people come in and nearly collapse just from being in the cold,” Langer said.

He said that on Dec. 21, 2021, the ministry had around 180 people in its shelter. One year later, he said, there have been 200 people during the day.

He predicted that the shelter would likely exceed its capacity on Wednesday night.

“When it’s cold, we’ll make sure people don’t freeze,” Langner said. “We’ll stretch that to make sure we can do that.”

One man, Elijah, told KCTV5 he had become homeless last winter and struggled to find permanent housing. He has been hopeful that Hope Faith can help him connect to services to get out of the elements.

“It’s been pretty rough with this weather,” Elijah said. “Very unpredictable.”