homeless

New Life Evangelistic Center is located in downtown St. Louis.
Durrie Bouscaren | St. Louis Public Radio file photo

Testimony for and against New Life Evangelistic Center continued Thursday in the fifth hearing before the city’s Board of Building Appeals. The city board is tasked with deciding whether the downtown shelter can apply for a new occupancy permit without written support from its neighbors, and despite being next door to a school.

The most significant witness to testify Thursday was Scott Egan, a shelter manager for New Life Evangelistic Center.

Originally built to house the Biddle Street Market, this city-owned building at 1211 N. Tucker Blvd. is slated to house the city's new 24-hour homeless shelter.
William Bailey | provided by the city of St. Louis

The city of St. Louis has announced a location for a new 24-hour homeless shelter intended to replace embattled downtown shelter New Life Evangelistic Center: 1211 N. Tucker Blvd.

The city is currently looking for an agency to run the new shelter, located in a city-owned building on the near north side about seven blocks north of New Life on the corner of Biddle Street and Tucker Boulevard.

Volunteer J.R. Wilkerson Jr. prepares broccoli at the Bridge Outreach on Wednesday, March, 30, 2016.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Wednesday was chicken, broccoli and rice day at the Bridge Outreach in downtown St. Louis. With the help of volunteers, Chef Charlotte McClendon serves close to 3,000 meals to the homeless each week.

But the days where people without a place to live can go to the Bridge for a meal are now numbered.

Sherry Branham, 55, panhandles at the eastbound I-64 exit ramp onto Grand Blvd.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis’ only walk-in day shelter for the homeless won’t be moving to the city-owned building known as City Hall West this month after all. The board of the Centenary United Methodist Church agreed Sunday to extend the lease for the Bridge Outreach until the end of June.

“We decided that this was the right thing to do so that we didn’t have people displaced throughout the neighborhood and that we could provide shelter especially in this very cold weather,” said Centenary’s pastor, Kathleen Wilder, after the vote, noting that the church had “a commitment” from the city to find a new home for the Bridge by the end of the lease “if not sooner.”

Connie Lamka holds a candle during a vigil for nine St. Lousians who died while homeless in 2015. Lamka is a case worker for the New Life Evangelistic Center, and knew two women who passed away this year.
Durrie Bouscaren | St. Louis Public Radio

Before dusk on the longest night of the year, about 30 people stood at the Centenary United Methodist Church in St. Louis to remember nine people who died while homeless in 2015.

The four women and five men honored during the ceremony had visited St. Louis-area agencies for assistance, but died without a place to call home. Some died young, including one who passed away after a fire swept through his encampment near downtown St. Louis. Some died while estranged from family or friends.

Volunteers led by the St. Patrick Center look for homeless people during the Point In Time Count in the city of St. Louis in January 2015.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

New homeless numbers are out and they paint an improving picture for the state of Missouri. 

According to the annual homelessness report released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, homelessness dropped by 11 percent in Missouri this year, but it has not yet returned to pre-recession numbers. Meanwhile, homelessness in the United States dropped by 2 percent this year, continuing a slow but steady decline stretching back to 2007.

Gateway 180 at 19th St. and Cole St. provides shelter to more than 100 women and families.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

The city of St. Louis is following through on its goal to open two emergency homeless shelters by mid-April, but a lot of the details are still being worked out.

The men’s shelter is temporarily being housed at the 12th and Park Recreation Center in the LaSalle Park neighborhood.

photo of NLEC. Only emergency shelter in the region that will take anyone. Run by Larry Rice
Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio

The city of St. Louis says it will meet an April 12 deadline to open new emergency homeless shelters.

The city announced in February that it was seeking providers who were capable of opening as many as 250 beds by that deadline, either by expanding their existing facilities or by building new ones.

Sherry Branham, 55, panhandles at the eastbound I-64 exit ramp onto Grand Blvd.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Morning rush hour brings lots of cars to the I-64/Highway 40 exit ramp on Grand Boulevard. Most pass Sherry Branham by without pause, unheeding of her cardboard call for help.

New Life Evangelistic Center director Larry Rice (center) said the emergency homeless shelter will seek an injunction against a city deadline to reduce its overnight beds.
Stephanie Lecci | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 11:45 p.m. May 28

Rev. Larry Rice, city of St. Louis attorneys and neighborhood stakeholders are continuing with mediation that could allow his homeless shelter downtown to remain open and avoid going to trial this September.

According to a spokeswoman for New Life Evangelistic Center, the parties met for 9 hours on Wednesday in Clayton, but reached no final agreements.

The Salvation Army band plays in an alcove of the newly renovated apartment building on Washington Ave. on Friday, February 27, 2015.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Another St. Louis agency is expanding its capacity to provide a long-term solution to homelessness in the region.

The Salvation Army has converted a dormitory-style building on Washington Ave. into 58 one-bedroom apartments. The apartments are slated for people with a variety of needs, including children aging out of foster care, people with disabilities and the chronically homeless.

New Life Evangelistic Center, 1411 Locust St. in downtown St. Louis.
via Flickr | pasa 47.

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay announced plans to fund year-round emergency shelter for 225 people Wednesday. The announcement came one day after the city’s Board of Public Service officially filed an order requiring downtown shelter New Life Evangelistic Center to reduce the number of people it helps each night to 32. New Life has until May 12 to comply or be shut down.

47-year-old David Whitt has a checkup at a new clinic co-located at Places for People.
Katelyn Petrin | St. Louis Public Radio

For people struggling with homelessness, addiction or severe mental illness, visiting a primary care doctor may be the last thing on their mind. But community mental health providers, including St. Louis-based Places for People, are starting to offer primary care services to their clients in the hopes of reducing rates of premature death among people with mental illness.     

Suzanne Wagener, executive director of Covenant House Missouri, and Anthony S., a participant in the organization's traditional living program, talk to 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh on Feb. 24, 2015, at St. Louis Public Radio in St. Louis.
Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

In St. Louis, Covenant House Missouri has helped hundreds of homeless teens and children learn to live independently, get an education and gain needed life and job skills.

“Family dysfunction is the number one reason youth are homeless, quite honestly,” Covenant House Executive Director Suzanne Wagener told “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh on Tuesday. “Between 45 and 50 percent of them have been in the foster care system and are homeless.”

Laurie Phillips, CEO of St. Patrick Center
courtesy St. Patrick Center

St. Patrick Center has a new leader at the helm. Laurie Phillips took over as CEO of the homeless services provider on Tuesday. She is the first woman in charge of the agency since Edith Cunnane founded the Catholic charity in 1983.

New Life Evangelistic Center, 1411 Locust St. in downtown St. Louis.
via Flickr | pasa 47.

A brutal cold snap has drawn attention to the region’s homeless, and the services available to them.

Gateway Greening intern Ting "Bella" Liu shows students at Clay Elementary School in North St. Louis how to harvest peas.
Gateway Greening

A St. Louis-based community gardening organization is wrapping up its 30th year with a record harvest.

Gateway Greening’s community and youth gardens harvested more than 190,000 pounds of fresh vegetables and fruit in 2014.

The nonprofit’s executive director, Mike Sorth, said the organization provides basic gardening supplies and assistance to neighborhood gardens, schools and youth groups.

Anthony Knight, left, listens as New Life Shelter Manager Scott Eagen addresses the group. Bob Linsey and Lamont Belle in the backround look on.
Camille Phillips/St. Louis Public Radio

A small group of people, many connected to New Life Evangelistic Center, gathered Saturday for a meeting of the Metro St. Louis Coalition for the Homeless.  The group’s main topic of discussion was what to do now that the city has declared New Life’s emergency shelter a nuisance and given the organization until May to reduce the number of people they serve or shut down.

Protests at Board of Public Service meeting 12-23-14
(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

The city's Board of Public Service has ruled that the emergency homeless shelter at the New Life Evangelistic Center is a detriment to the neighborhood and must close in May unless it changes the way it operates.

Tuesday's unanimous vote by the board provoked shouts of "Shame!" and "What would Jesus do!" from a standing-room-only crowd, followed by chants of "homeless lives matter!" Crowd members also accused the board of holding an illegal meeting because they allowed no time for public comment. 

comedy nose | Flickr

By April 2013, the latest state data showed the number of homeless students in St. Louis Public Schools had doubled over the past three school years.

At the time, Deidre Thomas-Murray, the coordinator of students in transition, described what these numbers look like in practice.  

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