(316) 687-4673 2800 N. Hillside • Wichita, KS 67219 contact@urmwichita.org GET HELP NOW!


Real Change ICT


The truth about panhandling

It’s over 100 degrees out and you’re sitting in the comfort of your air-conditioned car when you see him. 

His sign says he’s hungry, homeless and a vet. Your heart aches, and you want to help. But should you?

That sign you see? Chances are it’s nothing more than a marketing ploy looking to cash in on 
your well-intentioned sympathy. 

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t people out there who need your help.

There’s just a better way.


Real Change, Not Spare Change

The next time you encounter a panhandler in Wichita, instead of rolling down your window and hoping your money will be put to good use, make a donation to the Union Rescue Mission and know it will.

Since 1950, the Union Rescue Mission has been providing homeless men with the resources they need to make real, long-lasting changes in their lives. 365 days a year, the mission meets the immediate needs of these men by providing:

  • Emergency shelter
  • A safe place to sleep
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Transportation
  • Clothing
  • Laundry services
  • Shower facilities
  • Personal hygiene products

But the real change comes through these residential programs found at URM.


New Beginning Life-changing Program

A nine-month recovery program, New Beginnings focuses on rebuilding, restoring and redirecting a man’s life as he looks to transition back into the workforce and independent living arrangements.

Working Guest Program

This short-term program is for employed men (must be working at least 24 hours a week) who need assistance prior to obtaining permanent housing. For a small fee, the men are allowed to stay at the mission while receiving meals and relocation assistance.

Steps Toward Economic and Personal Stability (STEPS)  

STEPS is designed to help men who need short-term accommodations while overcoming barriers to obtaining employment and permanent housing. While in the program, participants attend daily Bible study and life-skill classes, complete homework and report to a case manager.

NewLeaf Book Mercantile

A side venture of Union Rescue Mission, NewLeaf Book Mercantile employs URM graduates to repurpose and sell used books, CDs, DVDs and video games. All profits go toward financing URM’s life-altering services.

Food Service Job Training 

Available to both men and women, KitchenPrep, is URM’s eight-week culinary training program that prepares participants for careers in the food service industry. Graduates of KitchenPrep receive assistance from program counselors as they look for employment as line cooks, catering assistants and other mid-level positions.

Beyond homelessness

While Union Rescue Mission’s primary focus is on homeless men, its services reach throughout the community. From providing free meals and food boxes to low-income families and individuals to offering free diapers and baby formula to new mothers, Union Rescue Mission extends God’s love to all those in need.

How you can help

Download our help pack: Arm yourself with resources you can provide a homeless person so that you’re offering real help, not a handout.

Make a donation: Cash and non-cash items (like food, clothing, bedding and hygiene products) are always appreciated.

Get involved: There are multiple opportunities to volunteer and impact the lost and hurting people that we serve.

Stay connected: Sign up for our email list to hear what’s happening at Union Rescue Mission.


Information about other area homeless service providers is available by dialing 2-1-1, or online from 211kansas@unitedwayplains.org


*Wichita’s  panhandling  ordinance  prohibits  motorists  from  giving  anything—money  or  otherwise—to  a  person  who  steps  into  a  major  or  congested  street.  Violating  the  ordinance  is  a  criminal  misdemeanor  with  a  possible  maximum  penalty  of  $500  and/or  30  days  in  jail  for  both  the  panhandler  and  the  motorist.