After getting the green light from the Kearney Planning Commission last week, the city's only homeless shelter is one step closer to watching their dream of expansion come true.
Since opening their doors in February, Crossroads Rescue Mission and Homeless Shelter has been at capacity -- with a waiting list of at least 15 people every single day, hoping for a warm, safe place to stay.
Right now, their permit allows them to house 27 people, but the shelter actually has enough room for double that amount.
And during what they say is their busiest time of year, they're asking the Kearney City Council to approve a proposal that would increase the number of people they can take in by 15, in hopes of getting rid of that waiting list completely.
"It's hard when we hit 27 and people are waiting to come in, especially when we know that they could go in the other room and lay down," Crossroads Executive Director Jerry Bumgardner said. "But we've held to the 27, and we're going to hold to the 27. We just want to make sure that we're doing what the city wants us to do, because we appreciate the opportunity to be in Kearney, and there's a huge need that we're meeting, and we want to just continue to do that."
With so many people in the area in need of a place to lay their heads, Bumgardner says the possible expansion couldn't come at a better time.
"Thanksgiving and Christmas — what greater gift could you give somebody than a place to stay and people to be around?"
The Hastings Crossroads center is also up for a vote to expand. If approved, their permit would be changed to allow them to take in 112 people -- double the amount they can currently house.
The Kearney and Hastings city councils will vote on the expansions at meetings next month.