Enews 04-20-23: Human Service Summit 2023; Homelessness in Johnson County; Medicaid Enrollment Update

Register Today for June 21 Human Service Summit

Our 2023 Human Service Summit will bring attention to one of Johnson County’s most complex issues: homelessness. Participants will learn about the realities of homelessness in our community and about the collaborative solutions that can help make a difference. Register today for this important conversation.

Participants will learn about a planning initiative to address gaps and meet the needs of the unhoused in our community and innovative approaches to strengthen our housing continuum. Attainable housing is the best prevention to homelessness.

We recognize that the key to addressing homelessness and other big issues is to do it together. We each have a role to play in making our community a better place for all. Attendees at the 2023 Human Service Summit will participate in activities and discussions that will equip them to take action together.

Save your spot for the 2023 Human Service Summit.

A Coordinated Response to Homelessness in Johnson County

Johnson County’s Continuum of Care on Homelessness, which is led by UCS, facilitates the local Coordinated Entry System (CES). CES is a "no wrong door" process developed to ensure that all people experiencing a housing crisis have fair and equal access to housing resources. The CES quickly identifies, assesses for, refers, and connects households to housing assistance based on their strengths and needs. The primary goals are that assistance is allocated as effectively as possible and that it is easily accessible no matter where or how people present.

The CES includes a network of trained staff at agencies throughout the county who assess the household's circumstances and offer referrals to supportive services. The assessment places qualified households on a housing list based on vulnerability factors including:

  • Veteran
  • Chronic homelessness (1 year+ of homelessness in the last 3 years plus a disability)
  • Unsheltered
  • Fleeing domestic violence
  • Older adult (60+)
  • Households with minor children
  • Transition aged youth (18-24)
  • Disability

Assessments find that some households are experiencing multiple vulnerability factors.

In 2022, 748 Johnson County adults and children connected with the CES. More information about homelessness in Johnson County can be found in the latest Homelessness Fact Sheet.

Medicaid Enrollment Ending for Some Kansans; Resources Available

Nearly 50% of all Johnson County KanCare (Medicaid) recipients are at risk of disenrollment due to upcoming eligibility reviews—the first review since prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. During the pandemic, the federal declaration of a public health emergency effectively added tens of thousands of people to the state's KanCare Medicaid program, but with the end of the public health emergency, this coverage may now be at risk for those who no longer qualify or those who do not complete the eligibility review. This number includes thousands of children who comprise 62% of KanCare enrollees.

Experts and healthcare advocates recommend that all Kansans on Medicaid:

  • Update KanCare member contact information with the state (go to ks.gov to update contact information online through the chatbot or call 1-800-792-4884).
  • Watch for, open, and respond to mail from the state by the requested deadlines.

Johnson County residents enrolled in KanCare can connect to the following resources for guidance:

The KanCare Ombudsman

El Centro
913-677-0100 (ask for “Health Navigation”)

For more information and answers to questions about this process, see this FAQ document from Kansas Department for Children and Families.

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