WILMINGTON — A new possible program to help the homeless was brought before Wilmington City Council to consider.
During the City Service Committee report, Nick Eveland, the committee chair, told council he and others have looked in a homeless program in Wichita, Kansas called H.O.T. (Homeless Outreach Team).
According to the city’s website (wichita.gov): “The H.O.T. team is responsible for responding to all 911 calls regarding homeless individuals or calls for service. H.O.T. focuses on trying to keep homeless out of jail if possible and divert them to services or shelters.”
Eveland said the program was brought to his attention by Clinton County Commissioner Mike McCarty. Eveland advised he was told the program works effectively with Wichita’s homeless population.
“We thought maybe it was something the city could explore,” said Eveland. “Maybe not the total program, but there are certainly highlights of the program that would be a great benefit.”
He went on to say that Wilmington has a lot of “wonderful resources” to help homeless individuals, but they aren’t all tied together. While the city wouldn’t start anything like it just yet, Eveland thought it would be a good idea to put something together to see what it would cost.
Councilmember Michael Snarr advised this discussion should be brought to the Clinton County Coalition on Homelessness since they were thinking of similar ideas.
Also during council:
• Police Chief Ron Cravens spoke to city officials about the search warrants that were executed on residents at South Walnut Street and Thorne Avenue by law enforcement on Thursday. He advised that it was drug-related and these warrants were the result of eight months of investigation.
• Safety/Service Director Brian Shidaker told council about a project to build seven new walkways/pedestrian crossings in the city. The estimated project is approximately $542,000. The grant application is currently underway and the projected timeline is 2022-2024.
The two walkways that would be the biggest priorities are the crossing at Holmes Elementary School and a mid-block crossing on Locust Street in front of Fiesta Veracruz. The priorities were chosen based on safety concerns along the major roadways.