WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) For the first time in its history, the shelter at Inter-faith Ministries decided to reopen its doors open past their March 31st closing date.
This is the first time in 10 years of operation that the shelter reopened past its close; the shelter usually runs from November to the end of March.
Director Garland Edgerton says staff saw what kind of weather we are expecting the first weekend in April and decided to get everything put together for three days.
"We plan and do the best that we can and plan for the year, but when we have the inclement weather or when something like this occurs and we make that decision, we're going to make that step. We know it's going to bust our budget but we're going to do it because it's the right thing to do," says Edgerton.
The shelter serves about 100 men each night; the women's shelter across the street serves on average about 20 women. It costs several hundred dollars a night to operate each, something the organization did not prepare for in their annual budget.
Money to fund this extended opening is coming from a general fund but also gets pulled from other programs Inter-faith Ministries offers. That's why the group says they rely a lot on donations.
"We are very fortunate that Wichita has really stepped up but we're going to be asking the community, if they can, to give a little extra to help us pay for the additional costs to keep this and the women's shelter open for these three nights this week."
The shelter will be open Thursday and Friday night. You can donate to the shelter on their website.