WPD, others collaborate to get apartment for homeless man

Published: Apr. 22, 2021 at 10:43 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - A homeless man now has a home Thursday thanks to several community groups, college students and Wichita Police, all partnering together.

“I feel together now,” says Steven Vera, who used to be homeless.

For about the past year he had been homeless, jumping from different shelters, so he reached out for help.

That’s where the Wichita Police Homeless Outreach Team stepped in, along with their new social work interns with the City of Wichita’s Housing Department.

Those interns are trying to fill the gaps in the community, specifically with homeless. They will are shadowing and riding along with the Homeless Outreach Team officers seeing what they can do to help. Thursday, taking some of the workload off officers when it comes to hauling furniture for people like Vera.

“When we got these interns, they were able to make some phone calls and kind of take that burden off us and get some experts in here, which frees us up to do more outreach,” said officer Nate Schwiethale.

The interns came up with an idea to collaborate with Two Men and a Truck to help move Vera and his new belongings.

“Amazing. The client was super grateful and he had just been homeless, so to see him going from that to a house and furniture is really nice,” said Gina Skinner, one of the City’s interns.

Belongings inside his apartment were donated by the organization His Helping Hands. Vera’s rent is also being paid for a certain amount of time.

Police say Vera was able to secure a job and that’s how they were able to help him with his housing situation for a few months through another program available to those struggling with housing.

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