The City of St. Louis Department of Human Services, in partnership with the U.S. Veteran's Administration and other federal and local agencies, is going to try to identify all veterans who are chronically homeless in the City of St. Louis and immediately give them a place to live. The plan is part of the City's overall goal to end chronic homelessness within a decade.
Starting tomorrow, Wednesday, January 29, 2014, more than 60 volunteers and City staff will fan out across the City to find chronically homeless veterans and immediately connect them to services like housing assistance, intense case management, substance abuse treatment, health and mental health treatment, transportation, food and other social services.
"Until we reach a day when not a single veteran sleeps on our streets, our work remains unfinished," said Mayor Francis Slay. "Our volunteers and City staff will go to the places where homeless people live or might live, identify veterans, and immediately offer them help. I want to thank the VA, the Obama Administration, and our Human Services Department for their leadership, and the volunteers for their compassion and willingness to give their time to this great cause."
"We will go to the abandoned buildings, small encampments, highway overpasses and other places where chronically homeless people tend to stay," said Bill Siedhoff, director of Human Services. "When we find them, a caseworker will assess their housing barriers, and then staff will work to match clients with the most appropriate type of housing."
While the City provides these services to all homeless people regardless of whether they served in the military, this week's focus on veterans is the result of a partnership with the VA.
Department of Human Services