This article is 4 years old. It was published on August 8, 2016.
St. Patrick Center and the City of St. Louis have signed an agreement that will transform homeless services in the region. As part of this effort, St. Patrick Center will run operations at the new Biddle Housing Opportunities Center on North Tucker, just north of downtown St. Louis. St. Patrick Center, along with Peter &Paul Community Services, are being supported in this effort by the City and the St. Louis City Continuum of Care (CoC) Board of Directors. "These agencies are uniquely positioned with a breadth of experience in homeless services," said Thomas Harvey, CoC board chairman.
"St. Patrick Center is privileged to play a key role in the Biddle Housing Opportunities Center," said
St. Patrick Center CEO Laurie Phillips. "After more than a year of discussions within the St. Louis City CoC, and with the input of Housing First experts from the United States and Canada, we see this as an opportunity for a new era in homeless services. Our ambitions remain the same – ending chronic homelessness in St. Louis – and the Biddle initiative will help us achieve that goal. With the expanded capacity Biddle will provide, along with the use of a new Vulnerability Index tool, we believe we can make a greater difference for more of our neighbors who struggle with homelessness."
St. Patrick Center will partner with Peter & Paul Community Services to provide housing and emergency shelter services at Biddle Housing Opportunities Center. "Together with St. Patrick Center, we will work with all CoC agencies and community stakeholders to manage and operate the most efficient, effective and comprehensive pathway to housing options and support services for people who are homeless or at risk," said Steve Campbell, executive director of Peter & Paul Community Services.
"All of this is made possible by the leadership of Mayor Francis Slay. The Mayor's willingness to take on such a vexing issue is a tribute to him and it will benefit our entire community," Phillips added.
"The men, women and children who seek services at Biddle Housing Opportunities Center will find an open door, a hot meal, shelter from the weather, safety and security, and most importantly, a path toward a better future," Mayor Francis Slay said. "People very rarely choose to be homeless. Most often, there is a set of circumstances that has left someone little opportunity other than the street. Biddle service providers St. Patrick Center and Peter & Paul Community Services are experts in helping people in need. They will meet people 'where they are' to help move them out of the facility and into stability and permanent housing."
Biddle Housing Opportunities Center is scheduled to open August 8. St. Patrick Center will oversee needs assessments, connections to resources, referrals, meals and housing placements for up to 125 men, women and children. Peter &Paul Community Services will provide onsite client support and program management, and direct the emergency overnight shelter for up to 98 men. "These operations will engage other CoC agencies and the wider community in referring people for housing placements and related services," Phillips said.
"Downtown residents and businesses are compassionate and welcoming to people in need," Downtown STL, Inc. President & CEO Missy Kelley said. "We welcome and support a service model for addressing homelessness that includes high-quality facilities, like Biddle Housing Opportunities Center, and proven service providers such as St. Patrick Center and Peter & Paul Community Services, that help people move from the streets into housing."
"We want to thank the City of St. Louis and local service organizations, including St. Patrick Center and Peter &Paul Community Services, on the expansion of homeless services to provide assistance to people in our community who are less fortunate," Explore St. Louis President Kitty Ratcliffe said.
For an explanation of how these agencies will work to end homelessness through the Biddle Housing Opportunities Center, please refer to supplemental materials.
St. Patrick Center provides opportunities for self-sufficiency and dignity to people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Individuals and families build permanent, positive change in their lives through safe and affordable housing, sound mental and physical health, and employment and financial stability.
Peter & Paul Community Services (PPCS) provides a continuum of housing and support services for individuals who are homeless, especially those who experience mental illness or live with HIV. Through its shelter, meals program and transitional and permanent supportive housing, PPCS connects over 1,500 individuals annually with shelter, food, mental health care, job skills training, and help for chemical addictions, to foster self-sufficiency.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Senior Director of Communications
St. Patrick Center
Director of Development
Peter &Paul Community Services