Josh Merchant is a freelance reporter for The Beacon. They were a Fall 2021 intern, and have written stories on a range of topics, from how to help refugees in Kansas City to how employers are deciding whether or not to mandate vaccines for workers.
Goodwill for Ukrainian refugees is abundant in KC. But what about other refugees?
By: Josh Merchant - March 25, 2022
This story was originally published by The Beacon. It wasn’t long after Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, sending more than a million civilians scrambling for safety, that resettlement organizations around the Kansas City area began receiving offers of refugee support. The messages were almost universally well-meaning. People offered financial donations and even volunteered to […]
Formerly incarcerated Missourians struggle for decades to find stable housing
By: Josh Merchant - March 21, 2022
This story was originally published by The Kansas City Beacon. After serving time in prison, Christine McDonald found herself living on the streets of Kansas City and in a pay-by-the-week motel. Robert Richardson, who also has a felony record, settled for a bug-infested apartment with an open hole in the front. They are far from […]
Nearly half of abortions in Kansas are for Missourians. A vote next year could change that
By: Josh Merchant - November 22, 2021
This story was originally published by The Kansas City Beacon. Patients who arrive at an abortion clinic in Overland Park, Kansas, have often traveled long distances. Many began their journeys in Missouri, sometimes driving hours to their appointment. “We’ve heard these stories from Missourians and other people in our region for years,” said Emily Wales, […]
For many Kansas City refugees, job options depend on spotty public transportation
By: Josh Merchant - October 19, 2021
This story was originally published by The Kansas City Beacon. As a young man in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Solomon Kasongo attended university and had plans to launch a meaningful career, possibly in business. War disrupted those hopes. Kasongo fled his home country and spent more than a decade in a refugee camp in […]