WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — A Wichita nonprofit that helps the homeless is asking the city of Wichita and Sedgwick County for $125,000. The organization, Humankind Ministries, says it needs the cash to keep its emergency shelter open.
Humankind says they need a quarter of a million dollars because many expenses have been diverted to homeless services over the past few years, leaving the ministry needing upgrades to the shelter and other must-haves.
When the county commissioners voted on the donation, it was approved, but only after a lengthy debate.
“We start our budget cycle in February every year, and we adopt a budget in August. This didn’t come up during our entire budget cycle,” said Sedgwick County Commissioner David Dennis.
“We have to do everything we can to come together and fix some of these things or at least attempt to do everything we can to help this population,” said Sarah Lopez, Sedgwick County Commissioner
Chairman Pete Meitzner ended up being the deciding vote after a 2-2 split from the other commissioners. Before his answer, he had some remarks toward the city.
“I want the city to step up and write a check right now for $125,000 because they’re in charge. That mayor and that council are in charge of the homeless.”
Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple responded by saying the city has used $12.5 million this year for a wide variety of homeless services.
“I’ve instructed the staff to help us find ways we can help Humankind,” said Whipple. “And I believe on the 16th we should be voting to match that $125,000 fund so we can also be a part of the solution.”
Humankind Ministries released a statement about the donation from the county.
“HumanKind Ministries is grateful to be partnering with Sedgwick County in running our Men’s and Women’s Emergency Winter Shelters. Together we will provide life-saving services to our region’s most vulnerable residents during the coldest months of the year.”