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City of Lawrence launching new homeless solutions division; homeless programs coordinator to become director

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The City of Lawrence is launching its new homeless solutions division, and Misty Bosch-Hastings, who has served as homeless programs coordinator for the city since summer, will serve as its director.

Staff members of the HSD will “work with the Lawrence community on ending chronic homelessness, including service providers, advocates, and other parties actively engaged in the work,” according to a city news release Thursday. Bosch-Hastings will oversee the department.

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The HSD is not replacing the housing initiatives division — “This is just pulling homeless programs out of that division,” Bosch-Hastings said.

The HID will still exist under the city’s Planning and Development Services department, she said, and the HSD will be under the city manager’s office.

The city does not yet know how many employees the HSD will have, but it does plan to fill the homeless programs coordinator position, Bosch-Hastings said.

Prior to her work with the city, Bosch-Hastings worked at the Topeka Rescue Mission Ministries, and she previously served as the housing and homelessness project coordinator/Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH) contact for the Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services.

“Ending chronic homelessness in any community is a huge, monumental task that takes the combined efforts of many organizations and people to find the right solutions,” Bosch-Hastings said in the release. “Fortunately, Lawrence is a community filled with people who care and who want to find solutions to homelessness. I look forward to working with our City team and partners throughout the County to accomplish our goals.” 

Assistant City Manager Brandon McGuire said in the release that Bosch-Hastings has been an invaluable leader for the team since her first day with the city.

“She’s been integral to key projects already underway to end chronic homelessness in our community – and she’s developing plans for even more,” McGuire said. “We’re thrilled to have her leading our new department and are excited for the work to come in the next few years.” 

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Mackenzie Clark (she/her), reporter/founder of The Lawrence Times, can be reached at mclark (at) lawrencekstimes (dot) com. Read more of her work for the Times here. Check out her staff bio here.

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