KCUR News
5:23 pm
Thu November 12, 2009

More Homeless In KC Area

Kansas City, MO – The number of homeless in greater Kansas City has increased just slightly in the past year, and fewer homeless people are seeking social services, according to the Homeless Services Coalition.

Homeless Services Coalition Executive Director Brian O'Malley reports that 13,600 homeless people sought social services in 2009, a 2% decrease from last year. But 50% report being homeless for the first time, and O'Malley believes Kansas City is falling behind other cities in dealing with homelessness.

"The city of Kansas City is not knocking down the numbers of homeless percentages the way some communities are," O'Malley said. "Chicago, for instance, they have fewer homeless than we do, which I think would surprise a lot of people to learn that."

The federal department of Housing and Urban Development funds the Continuum of Care grant, which is the primary source of funding for 61 local social service agencies. The coalition is requesting about 4 million dollars.