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Half of retirees downsize their homes. What should they consider?
What are we going to do with all this stuff?! It’s a question more people confront every day as they or their parents reach retirement age. Approximately 58,000 people aged 65 and older live in Wichita, according to latest census figures. Slightly more than half of these retirees will downsize from their longtime residence, moving…
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Wichita’s homeless population grows to highest number in 12 years
What is driving Wichita’s homeless population to record numbers? This year’s homeless count recorded 702 homeless individuals, the highest number recorded by point-in-time counts going back to 2011. Homelessness is defined as living in shelters, transitional housing or conditions not meant for habitation, including on the streets. This definition does not include people who may…
Why Wichita’s work on homelessness means redefining who is impacted
Wichita’s homelessness task force is looking to learn from the past. At the March 22 task force meeting, Sedgwick County Deputy Manager Tim Kaufman reviewed the work of the previous task force that formed in 2006 to help homelessness in Wichita. Specifically, Kaufman discussed which recommendations were successfully implemented and which were not and why. …
Wichita’s new task force will address homelessness. Who’s involved and what are their goals?
Update: the location of the meeting has been changed to Hughes Metropolitan Complex, 5015 E. 29th Street N., Room 138. Text in the story has been changed to reflect this. Concerned about the number of unhoused people living in Wichita and what is – and isn’t – being done to help them? A new task…
In freezing temperatures, volunteers help count Wichita’s homeless population
With temperatures in the 20s before dawn on Jan. 26, tired-eyed volunteers with their breath freezing in the air began to gather in downtown Wichita at United Methodist Open Door. Each of them bundled up with warm clothes to keep the breeze from nipping at them.
Here’s how you can help ensure funding for Wichita housing programs
Before you can solve a problem, you must measure it. If you want to do something to help Wichita’s homeless population, you can volunteer to help count on Jan. 26. More than 100 volunteers are needed for the United Way’s annual “point-in-time” count of unhoused Wichita residents.
Surviving the winter without shelter: What it’s like for one Wichita couple
Denise and Richard Dodd currently live next to a river in Wichita. We asked the Dodds how they came to live beside the river. This is their story.
At least 49 unhoused Wichitans died in 2022
The amount of homeless deaths reported in 2022 in Wichita was more than double than it was in previous years. Since 2006, Advocates to End Chronic Homelessness (AECH) has organized a memorial service to ensure that people who die while unhoused are not forgotten.
Homeless or fearful of losing your home? Help is available
The United Way’s 211 assistance referral website lists 73 organizations in Sedgwick County providing help for people seeking shelter and housing. These organizations, which rely on a combination of tax dollars, private donations and volunteers, provide a variety of help to all populations.
Can’t pay your utility bill? There is help for keeping the heat on this winter
Kansas’ “cold weather rule” is in effect from Nov. 1 to March 31. Nov. 1 until March 31. During this time, certain utility companies must do two things: Offer a 12-month repayment plan for those behind on their payments and not shut off any utilities if the temperature drops below 35 degrees.
Wichita allocates additional $100K to fund demolition of dangerous and dilapidated properties
To pay for more demolitions of blighted houses in the next year, the Wichita City Council added $100,000 to the 2022 building and construction department budget on June 14. The city condemns and demolishes vacant residential properties that it considers unsafe — for example, fire-damaged homes, residences with falling-in porches and unsecured houses. To reduce a…
Kansas has $56 million to help homeowners struggling to pay their mortgage following pandemic
In the first quarter of 2022, the state of Kansas had nearly 10,000 past-due mortgages. Six of 10 of those mortgages were at least three months late and considered seriously delinquent, according to Marilyn Stanley, the program director for the Kansas Homeowner Assistance Fund. A new $56.6 million statewide program funded by the federal American…
Animal control, paved streets, water fountains: What City Council members want in the 2023 budget
As budget season approaches for the city of Wichita, the mayor and City Council members must decide: How should they spend taxpayer money? The Wichita Beacon asked each council member and the mayor to list their top three budget priorities for this year. Investment in neighborhoods and their infrastructure, especially in the center of the…