Our volunteers take food out to the homeless twice every week – on both Sunday and Monday evenings. We stop at 10 – 12 locations on the outer edges of the Kansas City downtown area, under bridges, along the river and where ever else we know that we can find those we call the “chronic” or “nomadic” homeless in need of a meal. We spend time at each location developing relationships, and we are careful to make sure that any trash associated with our meals is cleaned up after we have moved on. Sandwiches, chips, a cookie, and a bottle of water are the main course throughout the year. This program reaches 60 to 100 individuals each night that we go out. We also have with us a supply of blankets, hats, gloves, socks, hygiene kits, and other essential items needed by those living in camps and in the woods around the downtown Kansas City area.
As individuals transition away from homelessness towards a sustainable lifestyle off the streets, there can be small financial obstacles that threaten their efforts and potential success. Hope in the Streets board members, volunteers, and select partnering organizations, can submit grant applications on behalf of individuals such as these in an effort to help them continue on the road to success. Grants can be requested for individuals only once in their lifetime, and are not meant to help with regular or recurring expenses. Examples of approved grants include one-time utility payments, rent down payments, tax obligations, and so on. Grants will be reviewed for requests up to $1,000, and if approved will be paid directly toward specific expenses (not given in cash). All grants require the approval of the Hope in the Streets board of directors on a case-by-case basis.
This is our latest program idea, with an official start date of January 12th, 2015. This program brings a weekly opportunity to participate in a non-denominational church service directly to the streets, to the places where our homeless community considers home, under the bridges and in the parks. We inspire an environment where somebody living on the streets will feel comfortable, at ease, and without self-conscience anxiety, but instead participates with dignity. We will provide an opportunity for the gospel message to have an impact on a community that doesn’t always have a chance to hear that message freely and comfortably, and most importantly on a consistent weekly basis.
Currently there is a U.S. government grant that provides housing vouchers to homeless individuals in the Kansas City area. Unfortunately, that program doesn’t have the resources to provide the basic living essentials a person needs to get started after they are handed the keys. Hope In The Streets has stepped in and provides essentials to these individuals, including Bed Sheets, Kitchen Wares, Towels, Bathroom Supplies, Non-Perishable Food Items, etc. Our Fresh Start Program provides the necessary foundation for individuals to start living on their own and to become more self-sufficient early on in the transition away from homelessness.
Each winter the foundation will buy supplies to assist the homeless in staying warm and help them get through the cold winter months. The kits will include a sleeping bag, hat, gloves, socks, canned food, hygiene goods, a bible, and other items to be determined each year. Through this program, Hope in the Streets provides Warmth Kits to approximately 20 to 50 individuals each winter. This is the program that started Hope in the Streets in 2004, and will continue to be a foundational service we provide each year. Getting through the cold winter months on the streets of Kansas City is a real challenge and a dangerous proposition.
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