St. Louis City officials are mobilizing to protect the city's homeless population as an arctic weather front is forecast to plunge the region into sub-zero temperatures late this weekend.
The National Weather Service says a winter storm could dump nearly a foot of snow on the St. Louis area by Sunday evening. The overnight low temperature on Sunday is forecast to reach -8 degrees with daytime highs on Monday peaking near -2 degrees.
During the Vietnam War, Jerry Tovo was a drill sergeant, training soldiers to go to war. After he left the military, Tovo became a professional photographer, specializing in advertising. But in 2011, he took his photography in a less commercial direction--photographing homeless veterans across the country.
Tovo's motivation for the project originated with an understanding of the problems that can lead to homelessness among veterans.
Making the transition from the military to civilian life can be difficult.
Many veterans come out of the military with combat trauma, a condition which must be dealt with before they can move on. And many don’t admit their condition for fear their discharge will be delayed or they won’t be able to get jobs needing a security clearance or jobs in law enforcement.
Only a fraction of those with combat trauma register with a VA hospital.
St. Louis officials say a new federal grant could enable them to end long-term homelessness in the city in 18 months.
The city announced today that it had received $1.25 million to provide services like rental assistance, substance abuse and mental health treatment, and other support for those who have been living on the street long-term.
Previous federal grants could only be used for specific populations, says human services director Bill Siedhoff. The new federal money will provide those critical support services to a broader population.
Reverend Larry Rice says he is tired of waiting for the city to remove barriers that have surrounded his homeless shelter in downtown St. Louis for the past five weeks.
Sidewalks on both sides of Locust Street in front of New Life Evangelistic Center are blocked off by metal barriers. Bill Seidhoff, the director of the city’s department of human services, said the city placed the barriers there after receiving calls from residents who were concerned about hygiene and safety because of the homeless people who congregate and sleep around the center.
There is good and bad news when it comes to the latest government figures on poverty in America. The good news is that the poverty rate has more or less stabilized for the first time in three years, while the bad news is that the number of people living in poverty in the St. Louis area is well above the national average. Join host Don Marsh for a discussion about poverty and its ripple effects in the region.