Topeka Homeless Count [Photo Courtesy WIBW]
Homelessness in Topeka was on the rise nearly across the board in the latest point-in-time count of homeless people in the Capital City.
Topeka Rescue Mission executive director Barry Feaker says it's going to take some effort to turn the numbers around.
“There’s no one fix solution to any of this,” he said.
According to the City's homeless count, the total number of homeless individuals climbed to 419. That's up from 356 last year.
Feaker's agency saw a record number of guests in 2017, with the biggest increases being individuals who suffer from mental health challenges. The City of Topeka also noted the state's schools are showing an increase in the number of homeless children and youths.
Feaker, who has been heading the charge for Topeka to end homelessness, says the number that jumps out at him is the rise in chronically homeless, which climbed from 119 to 153.
“What that would indicate is that we have some folks who have actually experienced homelessness for a longer period of time than normal," Feaker said. "(It) means we haven’t been able to find them more permanent housing, shelter, and that we’ve kept them longer - maybe in shelter or other situations.”