JOPLIN, Mo. — A recent study from “Sharity” states there are currently more than 600 homeless people in the City of Joplin.

And out of that number – more than 400 represent children. 40 of those children are possibly without any family.

It was one of the issues city council members and city leaders heard about from a Sharity representative during tonight’s work session.

They also focused on topics like a lack of low-income housing following the Joplin tornado – and the city’s current housing market.

They now face the process of deciding on and implementing a plan.

“It’s a terrible thing, and you talk to school teachers or some of our schools, and they’ll have a student for six months and that student disappears. It’s a very real problem. One of the good things about Joplin is we’re a compassionate city and the people here actually care, and they even care about some of the people that others might identify as problems,” said Mayor Doug Lawson, City of Joplin.

Mayor Lawson also tells us the next steps are to hold town hall meetings – where citizens have the opportunity to voice their opinions – with the goal of a plan being made by the community.

He says the dates for those meetings should be announced soon.