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Will $76,000 Solve Topeka’s Homelessness Problem?

TOPEKA (KSNT) — The City of Topeka will consider hiring a Chicago-based consulting firm to help it combat and find solutions to a growing homeless population.

The new city manager, Steve Wade, is asking the Topeka City Council to hire Sylver Consulting to help fight homelessness, which is “steadily getting worse and more visible,” according to the proposal.

“The scale of the homelessness challenge is becoming more tangible for the average Topeka resident, as the waste produced by this population is becoming more visible in and around the community,” according to the proposed $76,080 contract. “Deeper partnerships are needed if the community is to achieve its goal of supporting the unprotected population in a more proactive and humane way.” Sylver Consulting describes itself as an international research and strategy firm to help with the 8 month initiative. This will last from February to September 2023.

By the end of the program, city leaders should get solutions to address homelessness in Topeka. They will have tested two of the solutions and figured out how to implement them, according to the company. Sylver said he has coached 19 other city teams in different programs, including two specifically aimed at the homeless.

The City of Topeka, in conjunction with Valeo Behavioral Health, recently conducted a “point count” to get an accurate count of homeless people in Topeka. The city says it can receive federal money to provide them with services.

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