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The St Louis Contrarian

Providing Independent and Intelligent Insight on St. Louis Public Policy Issues

Archive for the category “homelessness”

Another Update on Biddle House

I was at Biddle House today as usual on Tuesdays, to help serve lunch. The facility was vacant as the City of St. Louis is taking over and changing furniture etc. Hopefully services will not be disrupted. I do not have confidence the city can carry out this program until the permanent operator, Home Full takes over in the fall. Written by Paul Dribin

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The Future of Biddle House

As you know, I have written in the past that the operation of Biddle House will soon change. This facility owned by the city houses homeless men overnight and provides meals and supportive services to anyone who wants it. The operators of Biddle House, St. Patricks Center and St. Peter’s and Paul are pulling out. The facility will be run by Home Full, a successful homeless provider from Dayton Ohio.

Under Home Full, Biddle House will change its’ programming. They will now only provide meals and other services to individuals residing in the overnight program. This to me seems to be a small retreat from a full range of homeless services. Written by Paul Dribin

Biddle House Will Scale Back One-Stop Homeless Services Under New Provider | News Blog

Starting next week, the city’s primary homeless shelter, Biddle House, will drop services for people not staying overnight. The services, which currently include lunch for…
— Read on www.riverfronttimes.com/newsblog/2018/07/27/biddle-house-will-scale-back-one-stop-homeless-services-under-new-provider

The Future of Biddle House

We have been following the ongoing saga of Biddle House. As you may know, St. Patricks Center who has been operating it has pulled out due to significant losses. An organization based in Dayton Ohio called Home Full will be operating the facility. They are very highly regarded in Dayton. We wish them well. It will be interesting to see how they function in the St. Louis environment. Written by Paul Dribin

Biddle House and Homelessness in St.Louis

I have previously written that St. Patrick Center and St. Peter’s and Paul who jointly operate Biddle house, a shelter for homeless men, will soon give up their contract with the City of St. Louis who owns the facility. The reason for this decision is that the operation has proven too expensive with the operators losing upwards of $500,000 in the first year.On Tuesdays I volunteer to help serve lunch at Biddle House. I learned today that the City of St. Louis will operate the facility directly. This of course raises some questions;1. Do they have the capacity to run it? St. Patrick Center is a great operator and they could not be successful financially.2. Do they have the financial resources to operate it? Again, if others lost $500,000 operating Biddle, where would the city get the funds to be successful?3. It is apparent that Larry Rice who ran a shelter for years and was finally shut down operated on a shoestring.4. What does this say about the future of homeless care in St. Louis?Written by Paul Dribin

Homeless Services in St. Louis

The ongoing provision of homeless services in St. Louis is very much up in the air. The story is rather complicated and has been partially described in these pages before.

New Life Evangelical Church led by Reverend Larry Rice had provided overnight homeless services to just about anyone who wanted it. He was always in trouble with the city for good reason; he housed far too many people in his facility, didn’t agree to any reporting, etc. Add to this criticism from newly arrived Yuppies who lived downtown and he was shut down.

To make up for the New Life Demise, the city bought Biddle House on the near north side and hired St Patrick’s Center and St. Peter’s and Paul to operate it. I have frequently volunteered there and consider the facility to be well run. The problem is that both agencies who operate it lost huge amounts of money and cannot sustain the operation. Neither organization nor anyone else has responded to a RFP for continuing the services. Of course where this leave homeless people is very much up in the air. Written by Paul Dribin

chicago.suntimes.com/news/homeless-cps-families-study-10000/

a good article describing the extent of the homeless problem in Chicago

Housing for Homeless Veterans

www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/homeless-veterans-get-a-new-start-at-north-county-apartment/article_4de041f7-6770-5b59-84ec-9d4baf8f1418.html

Article about facility in north county for homeless vets

St. Patricks Center

I wanted to write today about the amazing work being accomplished by St. Patricks Center, the largest provider of homeless services in Missouri. I am privileged to offer some help as a volunteer to the organization.

St Patricks of course provides a men’s shelter and meals. More important they provide a whole network of social, housing, and supportive services to help end homelessness. They operate permanent housing communities and provide a whole range of supportive services. Their facility even provides a job incubator.

The Executive Director of St. Patricks Center is Laurie Phillips who is a remarkably talented and caring person. St. Louis is luckily to have this organization. Written by Paul Dribin

Homelessness in St. Louis

Activists in St. Louis have mounted demonstrations against the Mayor and other city officials over the issues of homelessness. They have criticized the city for not making more homeless beds available and doing a better job of housing the homeless population. A poster child for this action has been a homeless man who died in a portapot before Christmas.

That gentleman’s story is symptomatic of the homeless problem. This individual had refused help from his family and from workers in an office building near his portapot. He consistently refused help; most likely having a mental health problem. I don’t know of any way the city could have managed this situation.

I work closely with the homeless issue in St. Louis. I help serve lunch every week at Biddle House. When the Larry Rice facility was shut we did not notice an upswing in people coming in for lunch. Where did his alleged population go? Also, as pointed out by the city, if there is an overflow in shelters churches step in and house people.

I don’t believe there are people sleeping on the streets who could not be admitted to shelters. I also believe if we built ten more shelters they would be full. The issue is complicated, but homelessness is a more fluid situation than most people understand. The answer to the problem is permanent supportive housing. Written by Paul Dribin

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