Sleeping Pods Are Planned For Fort Scott’s Homeless

The Warming Hearts in Fort Scott Sleeping Pods will look similar to this one. Submitted photo.

A recent city commission meeting decision prompted action by a group of residents to help the community’s homeless population during the winter months.

Following the Fort Scott City Commission passing an ordinance to allow basic tents in designated camping areas for homeless people, the group of concerned citizens began conversations about helping the homeless in the wintertime.

The core group of Warming Hearts in Fort Scott, the name proposed for the group, is Tonya Cliffman, Anne Dare, and Sarah Maike.

“Our goal is to assist in winter with temporary shelter, clothing, basic essentials, and nutrition,” Tonya Cliffman, one of the organizers of the project, said. “We want to build relationships to provide basic needs in hopes we can move them into more traditional housing in the future.”.

Tonya Cliffman from her Facebook page.

To that end, work has begun on two sleeping pods which are four-foot by five-foot by eight-foot wooden structures. These are being constructed by a small group of men who are donating their skills for the project, she said.

“(Those sleeping in the pods) can sit up, but not stand up, that way their body heat will keep them warm,” she said. “It has no heat or water, just a wooden insulated structure.”

“They are $1,000 each,” she said. “We are building the first one now.”

They will complete two pods by the first of the year and as soon as they have an individual to utilize the pod, that person will use it for the whole winter, she said.

The group reached out to the owner of a vacant lot, a former mobile home park, Patrick Wood, who permitted use of the lot for the project pending approval by the City of Fort Scott. That approval came at the Dec. 7 commission meetings.

The area is located at 19th and Horton Streets, just north of Community Christian Church (CCC).

CCC already has programs in place to provide showers and basic hygiene needs, plus food and some clothing, she said.

“CCC is my home church,” Cliffman said. “This is not a CCC project but they are supporting us.”

The group set up a fund at CCC for receiving the donations to the project, she said. “This is for transparency, accountability, and stewardship. We felt that is a great partnership.”

Once the pods are in place, the individuals who will be using the sleeping pods will have portable latrines and trash service provided, she said, and be told of the regulations to sleep in the pods.

This initial part of the project will provide the sleeping pods until March 31, Cliffman said.

Cliffman was able to visit with 15 out of the 18 residents that are on the block where permission was given for the sleeping pods, she said.

“I know the Lord’s hand is on this,” Cliffman said. “Doors are opening: we’ve been blessed with a location and some donations to get started. I’m following the gifts the good Lord gave me to do this.”

Facebook page to follow along on progress:

A link to donate to the cause:[0]=AT0eZ_iOSWcNYAEGcJuoJuQ8KZz2CFqTEig36EFyTBI025cbPswq7KfMGW3AcYQXYsYXmJ-SzeajqZPxwBbF_P-XEiO6YD4W56OMFPllDu3Eq62zcD3fdup2rhA42XOZmHSTz5oAehpwZlDsTuzX-k1ftjVyi-8rj4Af2l8At9iKwPGznq2xzV2-4h_1StsBC7-9EJsZyhXp_MZvxuI





28 thoughts on “Sleeping Pods Are Planned For Fort Scott’s Homeless”

  1. I hope Fort Scott doesn’t start looking like a lot of the cities in California, or Washington State, etc. You might want to look at all the Youtube videos on drug addiction and homelessness before putting out the welcome mat.

    1. I agree 100%Rebecca. Only asking for more issues. Find another way to help. The Bible says that if you give a man a fish, he will eat today, but teach a man to fish and he will eat forever.

      1. Fort Scott has a reputation (deserved or not) for illegal drug use. Setting up shacks for the drug users and others with serious mental problems is no way to help them. Think about it, how could shacks possibly help? They haven’t helped anywhere else, and they’ve been tried in other places for years now.

      2. I’m afraid that isn’t in the Bible. Here are some things that ARE in the Bible:

        “And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.” – Luke 3:11

        “But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” – 1 John 3:17

        “In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” – Acts 20:35

        1. I was mistaken. I appreciate you correcting me.
          My opinion still is , I do not think this is a good idea for the pods.

          1. Proverbs 19:17 whoever is kind to the poor lends to the lord and he will reward them for what they have done
            Galatians 6:2 bear one anothers burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of christ
            How about this one
            Deuteronomy 15:11 for there will never cease to bw poor in the land; that is why I am COMMANDING you to open wide your hand to your brother and to the poor and needy in your land.
            I can go on and on do not use religion to justify yourselfish and sinful thoughts

        2. Doug, America today has a drug addiction problem causing the homeless problem. Rural areas have been hit hard by illegal drug use. There are homes provided for people with mental health issues due to drugs ( generally in larger cities), but the homeless want to do the drugs and not get help- that’s why they stay on the streets. There are videos on you tube regarding the problem in big cities… If you do a search “homelessness in San Francisco,” or search any large city, you will find videos and you will see how the cities are being wrecked by the homeless drug users. And, the drug dealers are in the area as well. There are many ways to help people. Here are some examples: Churches support shelters for abused women and children, they support community food banks, they have thrift stores and give some of the donations to those in need along with selling items and using the money for projects. What they don’t do, is make it easy for addicts and others with serious mental health issues to live on the streets.

        3. Also in the Bible:

          For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.”

          Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the bread they eat.

          Poor is he who works with a negligent hand, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.

          Focusing just on the idea the people need to earn their own food isn’t any more Biblical than only focusing on trying to give people free stuff.

          My guess is that many of people’s concerns about the project would be alleviated if the housing, etc. was being provided in exchange for some type of work that the individual was capable of doing. No one wants Fort Scott to become the ideal place to live if you don’t want to support yourself, but our community could benefit from things that will help people who want to work get back on their feet.

          That said, I applaud the efforts of everyone who is trying to help the homeless. It is very easy to sit on the side lines and critique people that are actually doing things to help and I’m sure the concerns mentioned here aren’t things they haven’t thought about.

      3. There’s a video by Christopher Rufo on You Tube: “Chaos by the Bay: …”. It is short and shows how San Francisco got into the mess it is in. The video also features a drug addict and how he got off of drugs. We have many Christians today who are ex-addicts and they tell everyone how they did it. Mike Lindell and Dr Michael Brown are two of them. If you don’t make Fort Scott a haven for the homeless, they will move somewhere else, with no problem. They have networks. There are towns where they’ve banned the homeless and they just move on.

  2. Awesome, our first homeless encampment in town. And do these pods have showers and bathrooms? I guess they can just utilize the yards of the taxpayers that live next to them, right? And how about trash service? I have to pay for my trash to picked up, are they going to have a way to dispose of there waste? Are they fireproof? I hear crack pipes cause fires.
    This is the most stupid idea I’ve ever heard of.

  3. I know people are trying to help but I don’t think this is answer.
    Will the land owner is held liable for any problems?

  4. Build it and they will come. We will have homeless move in from other cities once we start providing more amenities.

  5. So, LandBank, this is the answer to ‘affordable housing’, the best this city can come up with? Put a ‘tent-city’ smack dab in the heart of town on a major thoroughfare (boulevard), next to a church and community college campus, WOW what a drawing card for attracting new residents, huh? The concept of ‘highest and best use’ should be applied to these parcels, so taxes would preclude this crazy idea> oh, ‘errors’ are easily made when calculating ‘Mill Levies’, so we just suck it up…..

      1. I understand that this is not connected to the ‘Land Bank’, perhaps it may deserve some consideration, as obviously the proposal is not ‘Highest and Best Use”.

        Re-zone the property to generate ‘real property tax’ revenue that would discourage such use.

        Seems that this may be a nice parcel to have in the ‘Land Bank’ portfolio, IMHO

        Thank you

        1. This property is privately owned and current on taxes. I would not be in favor of government intruding on private property rights.

          1. Nor am I in favor of or suggesting ’eminent domain’. However, revaluation of the parcel(s) with ‘highest and best’ use principals, economic impact on surrounding/adjacent property values and stricter ‘ zoning’ laws/restrictions be applied. If “use” is for ‘Commercial or Multi-family’, then the property should be appraised using the ‘Income Method’ and that will most generally result in higher property tax revenues.
            I understand this has nothing to do with the “Land Bank”, but has everything to do with land values and use, things such as ‘curb-appeal’ or the ‘desirability’ of the area/neighborhood and nothing to do with a stated objective to attract “Affordable Housing” to the already diminished appeal of Fort Scott.

  6. This does not sound like a good idea at all, how did this idea ever come up? This is also very close to the apartment building FSCC bought for students to live in, this doesn’t make sense.

  7. Great. I’ll get to drive by these every day. They look like dog houses. I don’t understand how we have gotten to this.

  8. Im ao glad they are helping i was kicked out at 15 teen I was homeless with no help and no where to sleep no one cared nor did anyone in the aweful town help me people in this town are so awful they only care about themselves. I had to walk to Pittsburgh in the freezing cold and had sleep in the bathrooms at the strip pits then walk to 8 different churchs that all denied me help because I wasnt a member i finnally found a place that help me get on my feet. You all commenting that its bad are the stuck up people that let a abused alone 15teen year old girl starve and almost die on the street because you are so stuck up you only care about how it effects you. My grandmother taught me that you help those in need thats the Christian why you dont turn a blind eye you also dont judge dont preach religion on hear if you guys are going to judge jump to false conclusions and act all high and mighting everyones been down and in need before. Matthew: 7:1 Judge not, that you be not judged
    John 8:7 so when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, he that is without sin among you, let him cat the forst stone at her.

    Hebrew’s 13:16 do not forget to do good and to share with other for such a sacrafice god is please
    Proverbs 19:17 whoever is kind to the poor lends to the lord and he will reward them for what they have done

  9. Well, it’s kind of stupid to give them a place where they got to crawl in and you have no heat and you have no water. That’s just like sleeping in a car and I can’t crawl in there and I can’t stay in a place where there’s no heat and no water. Because I have to go to the bathroom quite a bit through the night. So how is this gonna help the homeless? If they have medical conditions, and living in the car. Don’t you think maybe you should try something else? 1000 dollars, that’s a lot of money for somebody to not have heat and water. Come on now, people live outside all the time. They don’t want to live in a place where there’s no heat. No water,they do that already, just money .

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