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The St Louis Contrarian

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

Archive for the tag “Biddle house”

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

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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

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