KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- While City Hall and the KC Homeless Union are working to find solutions, the city has told tent city residents downtown and in Westport that they eventually have to leave.
The large camps that have been set up for months are a public health and safety hazard, city officials said. But advocates for the homeless argue that they don't really have anywhere else to go.
In response, a few local shelters have now loosened restrictions to allow more people quick access to beds. Some people experiencing homelessness, though, tell KCTV5 News that the resources are still difficult to navigate.
In the continued search for answers, Mayor Quinton Lucas again Thursday morning met with the KC Homeless Union. The goal is to find alternative housing options before anyone is forced out.
About 2,000 people are experiencing homelessness at any given time in Kansas City. Some have told KCTV5 that the shelters are too restrictive or they don't trust living in large group housing.
Organizations like Hope Faith have worked for the past few months to help people find relief at a hotel, then transition to a more permanent solution.
The mayor said he supports more temporary motel options and the idea dedicating a few acres of land to those who prefer to be outside. He said there will need to be multiple options, though.
"Some things we are proposing is not just our dollar-home Land Bank properties, but also working with developers who will exclusively offer homes for those who are at 30 percent of area median income or below," Lucas said. "That is $400 per month rent or below."