WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Ten formerly homeless people have moved into The Studios at HumanKind.
Located in the former 316 hotel, The Studios is HumanKind’s latest affordable housing complex.
The first to officially move in this week was Amber Burden, who just hours before was sleeping on the streets.
Burden lost her job during the COVID-19 pandemic. When she was unable to pay her rent as a result, she was evicted. She has been on the streets since July.
She has goals of getting a phone and finding her car, which were both stolen.
“Once I have a phone again, and now that I can shower and sleep, I can properly look for work,” said Burden.
According to HumanKind, residents of The Studios receive onsite case management.
“Knowing I have someone to help me address these issues is such a relief. I feel safe now. That’s what I wish people realized about the homeless community—they don’t just need food, they need care,” Burden said.
HumanKind Ministries says that they and their partner service providers have worked with their homeless clients to help them apply for Emergency Housing Vouchers (EHV) from the City of Wichita.
HumanKind says they anticipate that the vast majority of residents of The Studios will be voucher-based, meaning most will pay nothing in rent or utilities and not more than 30 percent of their income if they have any.
As long as someone is verifiably homeless, they are eligible to move into The Studios. A referral from a Wichita agency is required.
After residents move in they have six months to provide ID, which HumanKind Case Managers say they can help them to obtain.
The City of Wichita is also providing residents on the EHV program with fully stocked kitchen supply kits including dinnerware, silverware, utensils, and toaster ovens, which HumanKind’s life skills classes will teach residents to cook with.
“I’ve been working for 26 years to see a project like The Studios come to fruition in Wichita. I can’t tell you what it means to hand a key over to a client like Amber and watch her walk through her own front door.” says HumanKind Chief Operating Officer Roxanne Moren.
HumanKind says the Studios has been specifically designed as an intermediary housing solution for those moving directly from homelessness.
Each resident of The Studios will receive their own fully furnished studio apartment plus onsite case management to help them address their unique challenges and feel supported as they make the transition from homelessness into permanent, stable housing.
HumanKind says Case Managers at The Studios will help residents address ongoing barriers, connect them with other resources in the city, and keep them on track with their long-term goals.
While residents can stay for as long as they need, HumanKind says they anticipate the average stay at The Studios will be between one and three years before they progress to larger apartments and/or require less
For more information on this unique project, please visit www.humankindwichita.org/studios.