Update: Wyandotte County emergency shelter will open despite mayor


KANSAS CITY, Kan. (KSNW) — Cross-Lines Community Outreach organizers say that they plan to open an emergency overnight shelter in Wyandotte County despite being told this week that the mayor would not allow it.

The announcement comes as snow and freezing temperatures have been forecasted for this weekend.

Unified Government commissioners voted unanimously on Thursday to keep the overnight warming shelter open for the homeless after new Kansas City, Kansas Mayor Tyrone Garner shut plans down for the shelter at the Reardon Center earlier this week.

The Cross-Lines Community Outreach Executive Director Susila Jones said that the organization signed a contract months ago to open the shelter at the Reardon Center. She was confused about why the mayor shut the overnight homeless shelter down, but they were planning on opening up the shelter regardless.

Garner said he was focused on long-term solutions for homelessness but did not say why he opposed the proposed shelter. He also claims that he was unaware of a contract made to open the warming shelter and never meant to put people out. He said he simply didn’t know about the logistics and safety plans.

“I’m not someone that’s going to lock our homeless population out. I’m not that type of person. Never have been and never will be,” Garner said. “Those of you that follow me, one of the things that I ran on was coming up with a task force to address poverty and homelessness in Wyandotte County.”

Commissioners have agreed to keep the shelter open for the remaining winter months. However, they would like to discuss other venues and gain more community input.

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