City of Wichita

The City of Wichita is taking public comments about its proposed use of federal funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The city receives Community Development Block Grant, HOME Investment Partnerships and Emergency Solutions Grant funds. The city's 2017-2018 action plan, which begins July 1, allocates an estimated $4.3 million for programs benefiting low- and moderate-income residents in Wichita. Those programs include affordable housing, domestic violence shelters, homeless prevention and homeless assistance.

Maggie Ballard

People who visit the Lord’s Diner and other homeless outreach centers in Wichita for meals this Thanksgiving will get something extra: socks.

KMUW’s Deborah Shaar reports on a Wichita woman’s annual effort to help those in need.

Maggie Ballard calls her drive “Socktober.” For the past four years, she’s been collecting socks and then handing them out during the Thanksgiving holiday.

"I picked socks because you could buy the most quantity and make the most effort," Ballard says. "Not everybody can buy 100 coats for everybody."

Rosie O'Beirne, flickr Creative Commons

The Sedgwick County Commission renewed a $940,000 federal grant on Wednesday morning for a housing program that helps homeless people.

The Shelter Plus Care housing program targets three specific homeless populations: those with mental illness, those who have substance abuse issues and those with HIV/AIDS.

Tim Kaufman with the Department of Public Services says the program provides housing vouchers with a care component.

Sean Sandefur / KMUW

Each winter, dozens of homeless men are able to find a warm place to sleep at a shelter near downtown Wichita. It's run by Inter-Faith Ministries, a nonprofit that provides mats, blankets, and also dinner. But once spring sets in, the shelter is closed, and it’s often back to the streets for those who sleep there. KMUW’s Sean Sandefur reports on the difficult process of getting these men into a permanent home.

Sean Sandefur

Each year, Wichita Public Schools face a familiar challenge: meeting the needs of thousands of homeless students.

Each case is different—some families are living with relatives, and some are living out of their car. To address the issue, the district relies on the federal government’s McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance program. As KMUW’s Sean Sandefur reports, it can bring a level of normalcy to an otherwise chaotic situation.

Rosie O'Beirne, flickr Creative Commons

This year's Wichita-Sedgwick County Point-In-Time Homeless Count showed a decrease in the number of homeless individuals since 2014. KMUW’s Abigail Wilson reports...

The count showed that there are about 11 percent fewer homeless people in Sedgwick County. An estimated 561 people in were found to be homeless, down from 631 in 2014.

Pat Hanrahan, President of United Way of the Plains, says the numbers are used to allocate funds to the community based on need. A variety of services are offered to the homeless at the event as well.

Abigail Wilson

Nearly 600 chronically homeless people live in Wichita, but a pilot program within the city's police department is working to reduce that number. KMUW’s Abigail Wilson has more...

Abigail Wilson

The United Way of the Plains holds an annual event called the Point In Time Homeless Count every January. It’s an effort to make sure local homeless agencies have a good feel for the extent of the homeless population in Wichita. Pat Hanrahan is the President of United Way.

Carla Eckels

Tuesday is Veterans Day and across America, military men and women will be remembered for their service to this country with parades and free dinners. Others will pay their respects by visiting veteran cemeteries and monuments.

Donna Chandler, it’s not just a once-a-year acknowledgement. She’s the co-founder of a shelter for homeless veterans called Shalom Homes. KMUW’s Carla Eckels talks with Chandler about her work.

The latest Point-In-Time Homeless Count shows a slight decrease in homelessness in Sedgwick County--very slight. Results show that, as of January 31 of this year,  the county has 12 fewer people who are experiencing literal homelessness than on the same date in 2012. 

The survey represents only a snapshot of homelessness on one night.