WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Sedgwick County Commissioners voted to put off funding for a temporary homeless shelter in northeast Wichita for at least another week. The decision was made at Wednesday’s meeting.
The shelter will be the former Fundamental Learning Center at 2220 E. 21st Street. On Tuesday, the Wichita City Council approved the $685,000 in ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funds for the shelter through March 31, 2024. HumanKind Ministries is funding $200,000 for the shelter.
The county needs time to figure out which funds would be used.
“The city manager indicated to me that they need county support on $685,000. It was mentioned yesterday during the public meeting as well that that was the expectation. It is moving forward. They voted yesterday to fund it. It’s moving north. It’s going to happen,” Sedgwick County Manager Tom Stolz said to commissioners.
State and local leaders have been meeting on the issue of the emergency winter shelter for weeks, and some commissioners attended or viewed some of the city discussions on Tuesday.
Commissioner Ryan Baty said shelter falls in his district and understands the movement on the issue.
“I don’t know anyone that says that this is the perfect location. It is a challenging location,” he said. “The balances in saving lives for an emergency winter shelter, a reminder 48 people died in downtown Wichita last winter. This is a situation of crisis proportion. The city has to move.”
On Thursday, the Kansas Legislature’s Special Committee on Homelessness will meet to discuss the issue at 10 a.m. You can watch that meeting here.
KSN’s Zena Taher will have more on the latest developments on the shelter on KSN News at 5 and 6 p.m.