Despite Kansas City’s best efforts Councilor Catherine Shields To delay a concrete plan to accommodate the homeless, the disgusted city council finally found a way to move forward on Thursday, and it’s time.
Thursday action approves city Spend $ 2.5 million on social welfare to prepare a 200-bed village for individual small shelters For those who are experiencing the homeless.
The location of the village was unspecified, which was one of her problems with plans to postpone it for the third time at a meeting of the Finance, Governance and Public Safety Commissions on Wednesday, which she chairs.
But finding a place was made even more difficult by Shield’s own opposition to what she called “city-wide open zoning for homeless camps that are administratively determined without appealing anywhere.” rice field. More than a month ago, she warned that “giving staff unlimited and unattractive power in choosing a campsite that can accommodate hundreds of people.”
Last week, about 200 homeless people were expelled from the hotel’s temporary housing and returned to the streets. On July 18, police arrested the Westport camp, where many of the people expelled from the hotel had tents. They were told to pack up their luggage and leave area. Of course, they weren’t told they could be anywhere.
Shields continued to say she supported the plan, but didn’t think they were ready to vote. They also seem unprepared, and Shield decided to further delay the move of the proposal, even before the commission began on Wednesday.
She effectively attended the meeting. Due to technical issues, Shield couldn’t be heard in the council room and might have thought that no one else was listening. While waiting for the fix, in a conversation with another councilor who was also in tune with the remote, she said she would further delay all actions related to helping the homeless. “I’m going to keep all three,” Shields told city councilman Dan Fowler.
After the committee meeting on Wednesday, Mayor Quinton Lucas tweeted.Action on necessary housing / homeless solutions should not be delayed.. “
Others felt the same, and council members Ryana Parks-Shaw and members of the committee led by Heather Hall scrambled to clarify the legislative wording. They combined ordinances and resolutions to avoid the Commission’s suspension of any action. The plan to move forward was proposed by the floor at a full council meeting and unanimously approved.
Shields did not vote. She was absent from the meeting and did not respond to an email asking why. Council members Kevin McManus and Teresa Lore were also absent and did not vote.
The “Initial Resolution / Ordinance” passed on Thursday also allows the city to consider proposals from owners of vacant private property that can be purchased and repaired to accommodate homeless residents. Members of the council said they had heard some promising ideas, such as the use of previous care facilities and vacant hotels.
Now the council needs to follow through without further delay to find the location of a small shelter village.