ST. LOUIS -- Mayor Francis Slay announces the City of St. Louis has competed for and received a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to help rapidly re-house individuals experiencing homelessness into supportive, stable housing. This is the largest single, rapid re-housing grant the City has received to date.
Those seeking services through the City's Continuum of Care soon will be moved into homes and apartments to begin to immediately stabilize individuals and families who would be homeless but for this assistance.
This Housing First model puts the emphasis on ensuring that people first and foremost have a safe and reliable place to sleep before tackling issues that led them to become homeless.
"Most people who fall into homelessness and end up on St. Louis's streets do not have serious or chronic mental illness and do not require permanent support. They may have lost a job, missed utilities payments, had their power shut off, and were put out of their apartment," Mayor Francis Slay said. "What they need is short term help to get back into housing and on their feet. That often only takes a few months rental assistance, some help cleaning up legal problems and help finding a job. This is the kind of assistance this $1 million rapid re-housing grant is designed to provide. Fifty percent or more of people who end up on St. Louis streets can be put back into housing, quickly. With rapid re-housing resources and partners, most will be able to sustain themselves in housing and never return to life on the street."
St. Patrick Center and Gateway 180 will execute the grant to rapidly re-house over the next year as many as 150 men, women and children who are homeless. The HUD funding for rapid re-housing helps to decrease homelessness by minimizing the amount of time an individual or family spends homeless. In addition to providing rent and financial housing assistance, rapid re-housing dollars also cover case management and supportive services like utility deposits, moving costs assistance, credit counseling and mediation.
Much of the work to rapidly re-house individuals experiencing homelessness will be done out of the Biddle Housing Opportunities Center, which is owned by the City of St. Louis and operated by St. Patrick Center, along with Peter & Paul Community Services. Biddle providers oversee needs assessments, connections to resources, referrals, meals, overnight emergency shelter and housing placements.
"After more than a year of discussions within the St. Louis City Continuum of Care, 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," St. Patrick Center CEO Laurie Phillips said. "Our ambitions remain the same – ending chronic homelessness in St. Louis – and the Biddle Housing First initiative will help us achieve that goal. We believe this new funding can help us make a greater difference for more of our neighbors who struggle with homelessness."
St. Patrick Center also will engage ArchCity Defenders to help remove any legal barriers people might have to get into housing.
The Housing First service team is working out of Biddle to begin placing people who are homeless into supportive housing. The City also already has applied for another $1 million renewable grant for the second year of the Housing First program.
Interviews and b roll available
Mayor Francis Slay
Laurie Phillips, CEO, St. Patrick Center
Thomas Harvey, Arch City Defenders
10 a.m. Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Biddle Housing Opportunities Center
1212 N. 13th Street
St. Louis, MO 63101