By Jake Kaufman, KSNT

Topeka’s homeless initiative team spoke to the city council, recommending the next steps to combat the city’s homeless issue.

At Tuesday’s city council meeting, Brianna Sylver, an innovation coach with Sylver Consulting, spoke to the governing body on where they are at in the process to get everyone on the same page. After over 1,000 hours of research to understand the problem, more than 140 ideas were generated to shape maximum impact. Nine of them were shared tonight, with three at the core front of the resolution. A one-stop homeless resource center, a low-barrier shelter and a tiny home village.

The resource center would centralize all essential services to support anyone experiencing homelessness. It would provide access to housing, employment and legal services. As for the low-barrier shelter, it was recommended there would be different levels of incentives to offer support. The tiny home village would include eight homes. It would also offer case management and more.

Sylver also recommended both the shelter and tiny homes should not be owned or operated by the city. One nonprofit told 27 News it approves the proposal.

“The Topeka Rescue Mission stands in favor of those items, but we have not made any discussions formally with this committee or any other committees of who’s responsible for what,” La Manda Broyles, Executive Director of the Topeka Rescue Mission said.

Topeka JUMP also had a large presence at the council meeting Tuesday evening. The group has an approving interest in a low-barrier shelter.

But not everyone on the governing body is completely on board. District 5 councilman Brett Kell said the proposals need to be tweaked, saying it’s like a blanket to the problem. As for district 8 councilman Spencer Duncan, he said the time frames need to be adjusted when new City Manager Robert Perez starts.

This presentation will go before the Shawnee County Commissioners, who will hear it at their meeting on June 3.

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