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CAP closes emergency shelter for 30 days due to staff shortage

CAP officials said this closure will not displace any of their previous shelter guests.

Posted: Jun 18, 2021 3:11 PM
Updated: Jun 21, 2021 9:47 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) A staffing crisis has forced a local homeless shelter to close its doors for the next month. 

Friday, homeless individuals housed at Community Action Partnership's emergency shelter were removed as the shelter temporarily shuts down for the next 30 days. 

CAP's Executive Director, Whitney Lanning, said the month-long closure is the result of a staffing shortage. 

“It’s impossible for us to continue providing consistent overnight care,” said Lanning, “We have three staff (members) and one supervisor. So, that is obviously not enough to be able to do this consistently or safely.”

The shelter isn't short staffed by lack of trying. 

Lanning said the agency receives 75-100 job applicants per week, but there's minimal follow through. She said the overnight shifts, required background and drugs tests have also contributed to limited staff. 

Some 20 homeless individuals were staying at the emergency shelter up until Friday morning. 

CAP officials said this closure will not displace any of their previous shelter guests. 

“Community Missions, we’ve basically partnered with them to where they’re going to reopen their cold weather shelter,” said Lanning, "People are still going to have shelter. What we’re planning to do is through a variety of different partnerships to move to a different model. That model will basically be an opportunity for us to try new things.”

During the 30 day shut down, the shelter is tasked with figuring out how it will operate moving forward and how it can reopen its doors if the staffing crisis continues. 

Lanning said, “We’re really just going to back to the drawing board and see what is feasible and what is sustainable. We’re committed to providing emergency shelter. We have the funding for that, we won’t stop doing that because we know it’s an important part of our community. We just have to find a different way to do it.”

For homeless individuals looking for shelter, CAP officials said the shelter will continue to help homeless individuals find a place to stay by way of phone. Homeless individuals are asked to call 816-689-0150.  

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Temperatures will stay warm overnight with lows dropping into the upper 60s. Monday will be another hot and humid day, similar to Sunday, with temperatures climbing into the lower 90s. Humid conditions and high heat indices will continue into the work week. Things will quickly start to warm up even more by the end of the week with highs in the upper 90s and heat index values in the triple digits. A slightly better chance for rain will move into the area Monday morning keeping temperatures in the lower 90s. Things will quickly start to warm up again by the end of the week with highs in the upper 90s and heat index values in the triple digits.
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