KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- Hope Faith Homeless Assistance Campus in downtown Kansas City is partnering with Heart To Heart International as they work to protect the homeless.
They’re distributing 1500 flu shots over the course of a week at multiple homeless shelters.
It’s a mission that’s taking place at a time when the pandemic is set to collide with flu season.
On Tuesday, the groups went to City Union Mission, where 100 flu shots were given. They’ll head to ReStart on Wednesday and continue to other shelters through Friday.
“I think the idea is that when the guests are going from organization to organization, it’s just a way to help stop the spread of different virus’s. Not just covid, but the flu as well,” said Director of Programs for Hope Faith, Chris Stout.
These flu shots are being taken to the shelters across the metro with a new bus purchased by Hope Faith.
It’s called the “Hope Bus” and come the end of the year, they’re planning to launch a new initiative that’ll provide assistance to those dealing with difficult times.
Hope Faith plans to start their own bus route that’ll transport homeless guests to services across the metro. Whether that be to pay a bill, or even get housed by the end of the day.
According to Stout, the idea is to expedite the services and get more people helped faster.
“I think what this does is it prevents people from having to walk to a bus stop. We’re able to get them there. And it’s a direct shot to the agency’s versus visiting and hopping off between different bus stops. The idea is to serve their need. Which ultimately at a time of crisis is to get somewhere they can get help,” Stout said.
The homeless organization is also turning its’ warehouse into a warming center as part of its efforts to continue serving the Kansas City Metro’s homeless population throughout the winter.
Executive Director, Jaysen Van Sickle said it’s important to stay on their toes during this multi-season pandemic.
“We’re going to make sure you have a hot meal. We’re going to make sure you can still have a hot shower. We’re going to still make sure you have warm clothing,” Van Sickle said.
Since March they’ve had nearly 6,000 guests they’ve never had in their system before.
Now as they prepare for winter, Van Sickle said the need is more critical.
The organization is converting part of their warehouse so it can be more of an open air concept for a warming center.
They said they’re doing that since open air is safer.
Hope Faith also plans to set up a heating system for each of its outdoor tents.
This way, people experiencing homelessness during the day will have a place to go and get warm.
“Due to the pandemic a lot of agencies have shut their doors for now. The shelters are kind of remaining locked down. So those people who are already in the shelters will remain in the shelters. But for a lot of those guests who don’t want to sleep inside, we’re going to be that one refuge for them,” Van Sickle said.