The Working Homeless

June 26, 2018 8:34 pm by Elizabeth Perry in Uncategorized

Lazy. Undisciplined. Jobless. Hopeless. These are some of the words most commonly used to describe the homeless population.

However, KCRM’s Steps Toward Success (STS) program is revealing an entirely different story about the poor in our community. STS provides shelter for working men without addictions while they aggressively save for permanent housing.

Of the 62 emergency shelter beds at KCRM, approximately 40 to 50 are being filled by STS men every night.

Most men that come through KCRM’s doors don’t lack ambition; they lack opportunity, explains Shelter Supervisor Larry Hansen. The goal of STS is to provide temporary help so people can get back on their feet.

“Let’s say a guy loses his housing,” says Hansen. “He shouldn’t have to decide between quitting his job in order to get to a shelter on time, or sleeping under a bridge while continuing to work.”

In order to be enrolled in KCRM’s 90-day STS program, men have to:

  1. Meet regularly with case managers
  2. Prove they are working 40 hours a week
  3. Provide bank statements that show aggressive savings for housing


The success of STS has been phenomenal, says Hansen. “The program is about empowering rather than enabling, and we’ve been able to break long-standing perceptions about the homeless.”