The results of the 2018 Point in Time homeless count show both good news and bad news. The good news is that youth homelessness and veteran homelessness in Jackson and Wyandotte Counties are down this year, but overall homelessness has increased slightly.
Total number of homeless individuals counted in this year’s survey, conducted Jan. 24 and 25 throughout Jackson County, MO and Wyandotte County, KS is 1,798, a 7.6% increase over the 1,671 persons counted in 2017. Total number of homeless households this year is 1,346, a 7.8% increase over 1,248 last year.
Detailed results of the 2018 Point in Time count were presented at a press conference on July 12. Evie Craig, president and CEO of reStart and chair for the Point in Time Committee, said the results “help us understand the trends occurring in Kansas City so we can better understand the scope of the problem, improve homeless system efficiency, and promote effective interventions.”
The Greater Kansas City Point in Time homeless count, a federally mandated survey, provides unduplicated counts of both sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons. The local survey was conducted with the help of more than 150 community volunteers. The data help determine the prevalence and characteristics of persons experiencing homelessness.
Communities like Kansas City that receive federal Continuum of Care dollars are required to complete the PIT count. The required information is sent to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and combined with count information from other communities and then reported to the United States Congress in order to inform policy-making and funding allocations.
Thanks to a sponsorship from Hallmark Cards, reStart was able to host our 2nd annual Advocacy Day for reStart! Residents, volunteers and staff of reStart traveled to Jefferson City April 29th, to visit the Missouri State Capitol and learn about issues affecting homelessness. They were able to meet with State Legislators and leaders from State Agencies talk about Medicaid and made visits to the Department of Mental Health and Department of Social Services.
A big thank you to Secretary of State Jason Kander, Senator Kiki Curls, Senator Ryan Silvey, Senator Jolie Justus, Senator Jason Holsman, Representative Randy Dunn, Representative Gail McCann-Beatty, Representative John Rizzo, Representative Jeremy LaFaver, Representative Brandon Ellington, Representative Judy Morgan, Representative Kevin McManus, and Representative Noel Torpey for taking their time to meet with our clients. And thank you to Senator Paul LeVota for hosting us for lunch.
Our annual ‘Warmth from the Heart’ Legislative Reception, Friday, April 25th, was a huge success! State representatives and government officials were invited to meet face-to-face with our clients who are struggling with homelessness to gain information about programs and services that are being offered, discuss proposed and pending legislation that may impact outcomes, and take some time to serve their community with hands-on volunteer work.
Big thanks to Councilwoman Melba Curls, Councilwoman Jan Marcason, Councilman Scott Wagner, Representative Randy Dunn, Representative Tom McDonald, Representative Theresa Garza Ruiz, Representative Judy Morgan, Sarah Woodward, Kendra Burgess, Matt Hasse, and Win Jamieson for serving lunch in the park on this beautiful afternoon!!
We are very excited to finally launch our volunteer management site through VolunteerMark! Volunteers now can sign up for opportunities online and receive updates and reminders of their schedule. This mobile-friendly software is exciting for us as we can now store and track volunteer data. Last year reStart had 4,214 volunteers provide 15,477 hours of service and now we will be able to maximize the volunteer experience through better communication. Sign up today!
We want to thank our many volunteers who could join us Wednesday, April 16th at the Cashew downtown Kansas City to celebrate National Volunteer Month. This time of year is when we celebrate people doing extraordinary things through service. A month where we focus on the impact and power of volunteerism and service as an integral aspect of our civic leadership, it is not only our moment in time to celebrate our volunteers, but to share ideas, practices, and stories.
“Celebrate Service” is the theme of this year’s National Volunteer Month, which is being celebrated nationwide the month of April. And nowhere is that theme more evident than at reStart, where volunteers provide the expertise, the willing hands and the dedication to provide so many services for our clients.
Outstanding Congregation – New Life Fellowship
Honorable Mention Congregation – Chapel Oaks
Outstanding Corporation – UMB
Honorable Mention Corporation – American Century Investments
Outstanding Youth Service – Tori Bass
Honorable Mention Youth Service – Bishop Miege
Volunteer of the Year – Hannah Bettis
Outstanding Holiday Hero – Tamba Hali
Honorable Mention Holiday Hero – Elizabeth Williams
We are so proud to have a continued partnership with the HALO Foundation, a nonprofit that empowers youth through art. Through the HALO Learning Center of Kansas City, along with volunteers and amazing staff that visit each Monday, our homeless youth within our supportive programs are able to partake in their art therapy classes.
We were excited to attend their 9th Annual ArtReach Auction and learn that they raised $125,000 that will go toward providing a brighter future for homeless, at-risk, and orphaned youth! For us, the night was particularly special because they showed this powerful video featuring one of reStart’s youth resident’s, Oscar. We are thankful each day for HALO and how they empower our youth through art. Learn more at www.haloworldwide.org.
In celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, volunteers took a chance to start the year off right by making an impact in our community. We had some amazing volunteers at reStart dedicate their holiday by helping those we serve on Saturday, January 18th; Monday, January 20th; and Wednesday, January 22nd.
We were thrilled to have Church of the Resurrection Downtown and Leawood visit with our residents and play BINGO with them, organizing our in-kind donations, clean our Family Shelter, and provide administration help. H&R Block provided more than 60 volunteers to clean, paint, serve in our kitchen, and provide administration help. Other groups and individuals provided lunches, crafts and games for our residents, and organization of our in-kind donations. We are so thankful for their dedication to reStart!
We are always in need of volunteers! Please contact Alissa Parker at email@example.com to set up your group or to get more details.
We want to thank Congregation Beth Torah for purchasing, preparing, serving and cleaning up after lunch and dinner every weekend in the month of January, for more than 20 years. Their generous annual donation has made a true impact here at reStart. Supporters and groups like Beth Torah are what can really make reStart function day to day. President and CEO, Evie Craig, spoke at their Sunday School on January 12th.
Congregation Beth Torah is a modern, Reform Jewish congregation dedicated to creating an inclusive, caring community and providing opportunities for Lifelong Learning and meaningful worship. We strive to encourage and promote ethical Jewish Living, spiritual and personal growth, social justice and the continuity of the Jewish people.
reStart had a very blessed holiday this year with our generous supporters adopting our families and singles, many of our dedicated volunteers coming in donating their time, and we even had Santa and Mrs. Clause visit our kids one evening. We were very excited to have Kansas City Chief’s linebacker, Tamba Hali, adopt reStart this year. He took time out of his busy schedule to spread some holiday cheer. He surprised some of the teens from our youth shelter by taking them shopping and then made a visit a few days later with his elves delivering even more gifts for all—kids, teens, families, and adults. He met with each and every resident to take a picture and sign autographs. We are truly thankful for everyone that put smiles on our residents’ faces this season!