A proposed solution to the Kansas City homeless crisis has quickly come under fire by residents concerned with the safety of their community.
A recent press release noted . . .
A "tiny homes village" the city will provide transitional housing for people experiencing homelessness.
“Our goal is to provide a large amount of emergency transitional housing to make sure we have safe, respectable, and climate-controlled living areas, particularly for those currently living in one of the 170 tent encampments across the city,” KCMO City Manager Brian Platt said. “This is one of several solutions we are exploring to create housing options that meet the diverse needs of our unhoused community.”
Already there's resistance to this scheme, here's the first word from a local insider . . .
"Nobody wants this in their neighborhood. Residents have legitimate concerns about crime, drugs and traffic for this kind of shelter. And what's worse is that the plan isn't being discussed with neighborhood leaders. So far the city manager hasn't been very responsive to our questions."
To be fair, the new city manager is talking with podcasts about the goals of this plan. But specific questions from neighborhood leaders have been ignored as of this writing.
And the problems don't stop there . . .
Here's the biggest dilemma regarding the tiny homeless shelter proposal that has been overlooked.
FEDERAL & STATE LAWS AGAINST PROVIDING PUBLIC HOUSING TO PEOPLE CONVICTED OF DRUGS & PROSTITUTION OFFENSES THREATEN TO LIMIT THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE PROPOSED KCMO TINY HOMELESS VILLAGE!!!
"No housing authority . . . Shall rent or lease accommodations to any person who, within the preceding five years, has been convicted of a crime involving prostitution or the possession or sale of controlled substances listed in schedule I and II of section 195.017, or whose dwelling unit is known to have been the site of crimes involving prostitution or the possession or sale of controlled substances listed in schedule I and II of section 195.017."
This passage is exceptionally important given reports of rampant drug use among denizens of local homeless camps and motels.
One last thing . . .
We reached out to council about these complaints and elected officials seem frustrated with the lack of transparency.
Here's the word . . .
"We haven't seen any details. All we have is an e-mail inviting us to look at some of the tiny shelter models in a demonstration at Bartle Hall. We MUST have wrap around services for these people. NOT just shove them in sheds!"
Crime and access to resources aren't the only concern.
There's also the question of sustainability . . . One insider notes:
"They're paying for this with the American Rescue Act stimulus money. What happens when that runs out??? Kansas City taxpayers are going to be stuck with funding this plan OR they're just going to create a tiny ghost town. That's another good reason why neighborhoods have reservations about this idea."
Of course we're looking forward to more deets but right now the proposal has inspired skepticism and more questions Northeast Kansas City and among other residents.
Developing . . .