Homeless Expo in Wichita concentrates on helping people

Wichita EagleJanuary 27, 2011 

A young family that expects to be homeless any day now showed up. So did a man who hadn't had a haircut in months. And a couple lured by the free lunch. Still others came to help. Like the 21-year- old disabled woman who has knitted 150 scarves to give away. Or the woman who never thought about the homeless until her brother died in a shelter five years ago.

Together, they came Wednesday to Century II's Expo Hall to connect with one another. It was all part of the homeless count, a one-day exercise conducted every other year across the country in the last week of January.

Approximately 1,000 volunteers in 40 counties in Kansas participated Wednesday.

Volunteers searched where homeless people congregate — soup kitchens, shelters, under bridges. Organizers in Wichita went a step further. For the first time, they also asked homeless people to come to the Expo Hall, not just in hopes of getting a more accurate count but also to help the people.

"We're really trying to connect people with benefits," said Luella Sanders of the United Way of the Plains, which was the event's lead organization. "But we're also trying to meet immediate needs."

Read the complete story at kansas.com

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