PITTSBURG, KS.--- Choices Family Emergency Shelter in Pittsburg is in jeopardy of closing within a couple of months. The shelter is in danger of closing due to a lack of funding. The shelter receives federal funding through the Kansas Housing Resource Corporation. They've decreased the amount of money the shelter is receiving by almost 50%. The Choices Family Emergency Shelter serves close to 400 people every year in Southeast Kansas and Southwest Missouri.
"About 400 people a year will be forced to find other places to stay, or live on the streets. Unfortunately, in our community there are not a lot of homeless shelters available," said Jami Crowder, Shelter Manager.
With the ability to serve up to 12 families at a time, they are the largest homeless shelter in the area that allows families to stay together. If something doesn't happen soon, families like Kalyn Mitchell's will have no where to turn.
"Anything that you can do to help. Like anything, donations, speaking out, whatever, anything helps. Do what you can, do your part," said Kalyn Mitchell, Shelter Resident.
Without the funding from the government, the shelter would be set to close some time in March of this year. The women are fighting to change that gloomy reality.
"Long story short, the money is leaving Southeast Kansas and being distributed throughout the rest of the state. So, it's a total of about 400,000 dollars that will be leaving Southeast Kansas. And that's money that SEK-CAP uses to prop up many of our programs," said Becky Grey, Director of Research Planning and Grants Development with the Southeast Kansas Community Action Program.
"Right now, it's not looking good. I just hope that we can come up with some solution, which we have yet to do, before the end of March. So that people don't end up on the street," said Timi Houghton, Housing and Homeless Services Coordinator with the Southeast Kansas Community Action Program.
On Wednesday, January 15th the Southeast Kansas Community Action Program will host a planning meeting to cultivate a plan to help keep the shelter open. If anyone would like to help, a meeting will be held at Pittsburg DCF Office at 320 South Broadway on January 15th at noon.
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