The BEACH Project, an initiative focused on quickly creating permanent housing and additional services for the city’s chronically homeless, received an additional $1 million to continue its mission.
Bill Siedhoff, director of human services for the City of St. Louis, says that the funding is essential for the project’s goal to end chronic homelessness in St. Louis by 2015.
“It gives us that final piece that we needed in the way of resources to basically complete the 10 year plan to end chronic homelessness,” he says. “We fully expect that within the next year we should be in a position to be able to say that we have, for the most part, ended chronic homelessness here in the city of St. Louis.”
The project is focused on providing housing and other services for the chronically homeless, meaning those who have been without housing for 12 months or have experienced periods of no housing four times in a three year period.
Siedhoff adds that ensuring that the homeless get back on their feet goes beyond providing housing.
“It’s not enough just to put a roof over somebody’s head. You really have to provide ongoing services,” he says. “It’s a pretty comprehensive approach that has to be engaged in because of the needs that so many of the people that we’re working with right now – make sure that we address whatever needs they might have.”
Since its creation in February, the BEACH Project has helped 96 of the city’s 177 chronically homeless secure housing.
Follow Erin Williams on Twitter: @STLPR_Erin