Guests and Program Participants Were Tested on May 19

Shelter KC (formerly the Kansas City Rescue Mission) has taken the extraordinary step of administering Covid-19 tests to guests and staff at the organization on Tuesday May 19.

Today those test results are in: No one at the mission tested positive for the virus.  This is amazing and, some would say, surprising news for everyone who is unsheltered in Kansas City.  Many feared that those living on the street would be extremely impacted by this virus.  Those fears have not been borne out by the results of this unprecedented effort to test the homeless.  This is great news for Shelter KC; the beginning of allowing volunteers to safely return to helping at the facility.

Of course, Shelter KC will continue its meticulous cleaning, social distancing plus limiting those allowed in the building.  In addition, the mission will also keep up careful monitoring of potential symptoms in every person who enters the building along with keeping a close eye on those who are already there.

These tests were conducted because of widespread concern that asymptomatic cases could possibly exist.  So, on Tuesday May19th Shelter KC became the first Kansas City homeless facility to test all those living in their facility for Covid19.

SWOPE Healthcare Services provided the testing for the men in the men’s rehab program, along with testing those homeless men who seek services at Shelter KC.  Members of the Women’s program were also tested.

“Being homeless is already fraught with danger,” said Eric Burger, Executive Director of the Shelter KC.  “That very real danger is why we work so hard to help people rebuild their lives.  So, they can stop living on those dangerous streets.  That is also why Shelter KC continued drug and alcohol counseling during this Covid-19 nightmare.  We firmly believe that If these programs had been suspended it would have endangered more lives than the virus.”

“Shelter KC was quick to respond to early indications that the coronavirus could turn deadly.  By the time a stay-at-home order was issued, we were already compliant with governmental mandates.  We started taking the temperatures of our clients early in the process and implemented strict handwashing and cleaning protocols.  We also began social distancing as much as possible in our facility.”

As Covid-19 cases declined in the city, Shelter KC volunteers began asking when they can return.  These Covid-19 tests became a proactive step for the benefit and safety of the guests and program members, volunteers, and employees.

Shelter KC hopes to be able to bring volunteer opportunities back in the near future.  Anyone who wants to help can go to the Mission’s website to volunteer or to help with in-kind or financial donations.  Everything you give will be used to directly help people in need.

Shelter KC – A Kansas City Rescue Mission is a Christ-centered community offering freedom and hope to the poor and homeless, empowering them to reach their full potential.  Established in 1950, it has been our ongoing mission to serve people in desperate need.

Corona Virus Tests Negative at Shelter KC


Contact Abby Spitler at for detail.

Connie Chambers

Eric Burger