TOPEKA (KSNT) – The Mobile Access Partnership (MAP) coalition met Monday afternoon at Grace Point Church to brainstorm homelessness and mental health issues in Shawnee County.

“This all started with us talking about a smaller homeless shelter, the Topeka Rescue Mission and more opportunities for people to find help. We wanted to take services we already had in our community and take them to the streets. We had an operation at the TRM called Street Reach, and Valeo had their outreach program.” Barry Feaker, Compassion Strategies, former CEO of TRM.

“We asked, how can we reach some of our poorest residents, the one’s who were the most needy, the most at risk, what can we do? In mental health and addiction treatment, their are two things that stick out. One is access, which is what we do everyday. Everyday in Mobile Access Partnership, we are opening access to the people.” Bill Persinger, CEO Valeo Helth Care.

The Mobile Access Partnership (MAP) coalition provides mobile services including food, clothing, showers, behavioral healthcare, primary care and social services, for the homeless our community.

The key providers in this coalition include TRM Ministries, Valeo Behavioral Health Care, Inc., Stormont Vail Health, Shawnee County Health Department, Topeka Police Department Community Outreach, the Street Dog Coalition and K-State Veterinary Medicine. 

The Monday afternoon meeting was a conversation with these community partners, in the hopes of addressing homelessness and to bring K-State and others into the picture to better leverage resources in Shawnee County.