• Public/private partnership brings affordable housing project to North Broadway’s troubled area.  

Public and private funds will help transform the 316 Hotel at 1011 N. Topeka into a 56-unit supportive housing complex specifically aimed at helping vulnerable residents.

Wichita is providing funding support for the project that will be owned by HumanKind Ministries (formerly InterFaith Ministries). Currently called the 316 Hotel Project, it will serve those who are homeless or experiencing housing insecurity.

“This project addresses multiple community needs,” said Wichita Vice Mayor Cindy Claycomb. “Our vision is to create a comprehensive resource for those in crisis, and in doing so, there is an added anticipated benefit of reducing crime for the neighborhood.”

The project could be open by early January 2021. The hotel would initially be used as a women’s shelter while renovations are underway. Renovations will include facility beautification, converting each room into studios, adding office spaces for social service providers and more. It is estimated renovations could be complete as early as August 2021.

This joint initiative comes at a time when Wichita, Sedgwick County, the business community and the nonprofit community are concentrating efforts to positively impact local mental health services, education, job training, substance abuse assistance and more.

“It allows us to leverage resources to not only provide for the immediate need to de-congregate shelter as a means to slow the spread of COVID-19 but to also secure a long-term asset to provide much needed supportive housing for our community,” said Wichita Housing and Community Services Director Sally Stang.

The 316 Project will be owned and operated by HumanKind Ministries, which specializes in serving populations facing extreme poverty. Today their work includes the management of one year-round homeless shelter and three emergency shelters. Each year, HK serves between 1,100–1,500 (unduplicated)homeless men, women, and children in these facilities. Additionally, HumanKind offers over 100 affordable and safe permanent supportive housing units to help low-income and formerly homeless individuals and families find stability and self-sufficiency.

The 316 Hotel was put up for sale in early 2020. The project is being funded with $2 million of city project funds in addition to HUD Cares Act funding. Additional private donations have been secured. The city was also recently awarded a $1 million grant from the Department of Justice that will provide additional resources to the Broadway corridor.

“It is our hope that the permanent housing solution … will be the first step in creating meaningful partnerships for serving those who are homeless and living with mental health or substance abuse issues,” said Robyn Chadwick, Ascension Via Christi vice president.

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