Recap of 38th and Washington Meeting

On July 12, the Valentine Neighborhood 38th and Washington Task Force invited residents, businesses, safety agencies and others to its initial meeting. The task force, headed by Cheryl Baird, Chris Jordan and Mary Jo Draper, was convened after Valentine residents expressed concerns about loitering in driveways, suspected drug dealing, and the suspected overdose death on a Valentine sidewalk that occurred on July 9. We invited businesses owners on Broadway, the police department, codes inspectors and the Broadway CID security team to help us understand what is going on and find solutions. Here’s a brief recap of the meeting:

  • About 15 Valentine residents talked about issues they are seeing, with several saying the level of drug activity, people squatting in vacant homes, people loitering in yards and driveways, and people with mental health issues in the neighborhood has increased over the past eight months. Several said the level of disorder has become unacceptable. Residents talked about the need for compassion for unhoused and mentally ill people. They also expressed concern for residents around 38th and Washington, which appears to be the epicenter of problem, some of whom are afraid to go out of their homes.
  • Several Broadway business owners and representatives of institutions along Broadway said that the same groups of folks who have been congregating daily at 38th and Washington frequent  parking lots and other areas on Broadway, and are also making staff feel unsafe and requiring them in some cases to provide armed security.
  • The director of security for the Broadway CID, a representatives of the Kansas City Police Department and our local codes inspector offered their perspective and some initial ideas for solutions. They stressed the need for residents to report problems to the police and the city and suggested we let our city council representatives know we need help in dealing with these things. 

A second meeting, to be focused on developing a strategy, is to be held Wednesday, July 26 at 5 p.m. at Midtown KC Now, 3931 Main Street. (Please park in the lot on Walnut Street, accessible from 39th and 40th Streets.) If you cannot attend but would like to receive updates on the results of the meeting and plans for the future, please contact Mary Jo Draper, Valentine Neighborhood secretary at [email protected]

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Valentine Neighborhood Association

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