We are three Wichita small business owners who love the community we serve. We also happen to love adventure. Over the past year, as we rode our bikes around our City we started to notice that we had a severe need to address our unhoused neighbor's needs to help get them off the streets and into long-term housing solutions.
As cyclists in our city we have a unique perspective. We cover more ground in a shorter period of time than walkers and runners, but we are off the roads and on the paths that traverse the less visible areas of town. On one of these rides we started talking about how there seemed to be more homeless present along the paths, so we reached out to Humankind Ministries to see what was going on. What we learned was heartbreaking.
Since 2017 the census of homeless in the Wichita area has risen by at least 17%. Not only that, but much of the outreach in the city has seen a decline of the same time. Some facilities have become dilapidated and even closed. This means more homeless with less help. What can we do about this in the short term? What about long term?
HumanKind Ministries (HK) achieved a remarkable WIN in 2023 when they worked with the City of Wichita to gain access to a new building to serve as an emergency shelter just as temperatures started dropping for the Winter. HK isn't content with this though. They have a multi-year strategic outreach plan with a corresponding capital plan that will provide great short-term solutions for our homeless, while also addressing the long-term root causes of homelessness. The idea is lifting up this portion of our community, giving them the resources required to get out of homelessness and into long-term housing once and for all.
So, over coffee as pictured, we had the wild idea that we could help catalyze the mission of HumanKind Ministries by riding the 2024 Tour Divide in June with the goal of raising at least $100,000 to go directly to the HK Capital Plan. We are asking that you join us in this effort by giving any amount according to your means and personal motivation. Together we can make a difference. Thank you for joining this mission.
More information about the mission can be found here: https://www.humankindwichita.org/
More information about the 2024 Tour Divide can be found here:
Or come see any of us. We want to talk about this and can't wait to get rolling!
Tyler Branine, Bicycle Pedaler
Marty Johnson, Johnson's Garden Center
Cassidy Cheray, VantagePoint Financial Group