Homeless population in Wichita expected to grow

Local

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The after-shock of the COVID-19 pandemic has some in Wichita preparing for an increase in homelessness.

Humankind Ministries said this year the number of people staying at their shelters is lower than expected. They believe this is because apartments are not allowed to evict people who aren’t paying their rent, but come May, they said that will change.

“I do believe we haven’t felt the full effect of the pandemic and the impact it will have for those in poverty,” said Christen Sampamurtgy, the director of program and compliance with Humankind Ministries.

The trickle down of the COVID-19 Pandemic has many community organizations concerned.

“People are staying in shelters longer because they have less access to jobs,” said Dr. Sanders.

Dr. Luella Sanders is the director of collective impact with the United Way of the Plains. She said people who are months behind in rent need to apply for assistance now.

“Without that, if a person or a family gets evicted then they may very well end up becoming homeless,” said Dr. Sanders.

Humankind Ministries said they had fewer people staying with them this year, but they know come May, when the eviction moratorium is lifted, that will change.

“Homeless service providers and Humankind ministries, we are going to feel that effect – we will be feeling those effects in the importance to provide shelter service,” said Sampamurtgy.

“It has a ripple effect in the community and right now we just know we need to be prepared to adjust to adapt to know where resources are,” said Dr. Sanders.

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