The 2020 holiday season is quickly approaching. While it may be the most “wonderful time of the year” for some, Kansas City’s homeless community experiences the Fall and Winter months a little differently. As chilly weather approaches, this community begins to worry about how they will survive the freezing temperatures that a Midwestern winter brings. 

While the need to provide shelter and necessities this time of year is nothing new, the rate of homelessness has shifted significantly. Homeless shelters everywhere are up against a formidable challenge this year. In April, unemployment in the U.S. reached a post-World War II record of 14.7%. Meanwhile, almost 40 million Americans could be at risk of eviction. More than ever, shelters are needed. However, these organizations are challenged in how they provide services due to coronavirus precautions and declining donations due to the economic recession. 

Given the unique challenges of 2020, Team IDD is increasing its contributions to the community organizations we support. We want to use our platform to share their work with our network. IDD's November "In the Community" spotlight is City Union Mission. Keep reading to learn more about the organization's mission, how IDD got involved, and how our team contributes to their cause. 

"Since 1924, City Union Mission has provided warm beds, nutritious food and a place of safety for thousands of poverty-stricken and homeless men, women, and children. Founded by Rev. and Mrs. David Bulkley, one of their primary purposes for beginning this evangelical Christian ministry was for sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the hurting and the lost. The Mission's staff continues in that uncompromising commitment. City Union Mission receives no government support and is not a United Way agency. The Mission depends entirely on the gifts of God's people – individuals, churches, groups, foundations, and businesses who have a heart for the poor and homeless in Kansas City."
City Union Mission: History

Team IDD began supporting the homeless community more than six years ago by providing essential items such as socks, hand warmers, food, and water to individuals on the city's streets. Our Warehouse Manager, Mike Farris, brought the opportunity to IDD after he learned about City Union Mission while at his church, Colonial Presbyterian. 

This year the Team IDD took our contribution to the next level to support City Union Mission.  Thirty-eight members of our team packed more than 50 backpacks with essential items and food. 

When asked why the IDD team chose to contribute to the homeless community, Mike said, “Our team was inspired to do this work because we drive past these homeless folks everyday. We can’t say it’s out of sight out of mind.”

The statistics we mentioned earlier will likely worsen as temperatures continue to drop and Kansas City adheres to stricter social distancing guidelines. If you are curious about how you can help by donating essential items, food, or monetarily, please visit the City Union Mission website to learn more.