By Chandler Tatgenhorst & Taylor Vance, Ozarks News Journal
The Missouri Hotel has housed those living without a home for 30 year. Now, the longtime shelter will close its doors on February 27th.
Randy McCoy is the Grants Administrator for the Kitchen Inc.
“There comes a time where you take a leap of faith and for us that was this point. We’ve been talking about closing the hotel as this natural evolution of creating these programs and seeing them come to their full free wishing and this was just the time.” said McCoy.
The Missouri Hotel has housed the Baumchen family for over a year now, they hope to get accepted to live in the new housing units provided by the Kitchen.
We’re just waiting to hear an answer and we’ll find out in a couple weeks,” said Sondra Baumchen.
In order to meet the February 27th deadline, the Kitchen is currently completing necessary paperwork and working with landlords to lease units.
There are now 44 units, with another 32 planned for completion in 2016. The units will house families individually… a change from the current arrangements at the hotel.
“It’s in the community so the family then has the opportunity to set what is bedtime what is dinnertime what does our family do what are our family norms and rules and thing like that as opposed to rules that we have to set for an entire building and everybody living in it to ensure safety and security,” said McCoy.
“I think it would be great, [there will be] more family structure. We can have dinner just as a family [and] have time with the kids and teaching them,” said Sondra.
The kitchen has been working on this plan for several years and is hopeful it will be a positive change for Springfield’s homeless community.
“We think getting people out in the community is the best thing to do and we want to do it as quickly as possible,” said McCoy.
The Baumchens say they hope the transition will bring them closer as a family.
“[We are] very nervous with the closing not knowing what the changes, but very excited to see what’s coming forward,” said Sondra.