The Royals making the playoffs and the World Series brought thousands of people downtown to the Power & Light District this month to party and celebrate.
On Nov. 7 expect young people from throughout the Kansas City area to converge on downtown again, but this time it’s to bring awareness to homelessness in this and many surrounding communities. The event is being called “Sleepless in the City.”
Beginning at 6 p.m. Nov. 7 and running to 6 a.m. the next day, students will gather at Barney Allis Plaza across from Bartle Hall to experience being homeless on a cold night outside. Students will help raise money for Hope Faith Ministries at 705 Virginia Ave.
Hope Faith Ministries is a day center providing services for people who are homeless, including more than 800 meals a day.
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The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on Thursday estimated the homeless population in the United States at 578,424. “HUD’s annual ‘point-in-time’ estimates seek to measure the scope of homelessness on a single night in January,” a prepared news release said.
Missouri had 7,282 homeless persons in the point in time count; Kansas had 2,783. Some key findings of the HUD report were:
▪ The 578,424 people who were homeless represented an overall 10 percent reduction from January 2010. Most homeless persons (401,051 or 70 percent) were in emergency shelters or transitional housing programs while 177,373 persons were unsheltered.
▪ Veteran homelessness fell by 33 percent (or 24,837 persons) since January 2010. On a single night in January 2014, 49,993 veterans were homeless.
▪ Chronic or long-term homelessness among individuals declined by 21 percent (or 22,937 persons) since 2010.
▪ The number of families with children experiencing homelessness declined 15 percent (or 11,833 households) since 2010. The number of unsheltered families fell 53 percent during that same time period.
▪ The number of unaccompanied homeless youth and children was relatively unchanged overall, at 45,205. There was a 3 percent decrease in those who were unsheltered.
Speakers at the Sleepless in the City event will include Kansas City Council members Jan Marcason, Scott Taylor, Michael Brooks and Jermaine Reed. Alvin Brooks with the Ad Hoc Group Against Crime also is expected to speak.
Those participating will include students in middle schools, high schools, colleges, worship centers and community organizations. Unlike people who actually are homeless, the participants of Sleepless in the City will be treated to outdoor movies, magic and professional storytelling.