This article is 10 years old. It was published on November 12, 2013.
Innovative efforts by the City of St. Louis to end chronic homelessness were featured during a two day conference at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts on October 24-25, 2013.
The conference titled, NEXT PRACTICES™ ROUND TABLE: The Art of Scaling Best Practices to End Homelessness, consisted of discussions related to research, health care, social impact financing, employment, consumer sense of belonging, advocacy and youth.
The City’s efforts to end chronic homelessness, including The BEACH Project, were highlighted during the conference. The BEACH Project (The Beginning of the End: Abolishing Chronic Homelessness) was launched by Mayor Francis G. Slay in February 2013. The BEACH Project engages more than 26 partners to rapidly re-house every chronically homeless person (138 people) identified during the January 2013 homeless census. The Project was expanded to include 40 additional people living in a homeless encampment near 2nd and Plum streets. The BEACH Project also includes a goal of making data-driven systematic changes to the delivery of services. To date, 127 people are actively participating in The BEACH Project; 92 percent of them are housed.
"While ending chronic homelessness is our goal, what is most important is the fact that hundreds of people are now in permanent homes, no longer in temporary shelters or living on the street,” said Mayor Slay.
"We are blessed to have as partners a cadre of exemplary homeless providers who have made it possible for the City of St. Louis to be recognized nationally for our accomplishments in ending homelessness," Bill Siedhoff, Director of the Department of Human Services added.
Speakers and guests at the Next Practices™ round table included: Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Shaun Donovan; President and CEO of American Round Table and former Presidential appointee and Executive Director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, Philip Mangano; Pulitzer prize winner, Dr. Robert Coles; pioneer of the Housing First method, Dr. Sam Tsemberis; University of Pennsylvania researcher, Dr. Dennis Culhane; and Former Mayor of Boston and US ambassador to the Vatican, Ray Flynn.
Antoinette Hayes Triplett, manager of the City’s Homeless Services Division, represented the City at the conference.
Office of the Mayor
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