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.  

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

A two year-long battle over the fate of a downtown St. Louis homeless shelter could come to an end on Tuesday, when a city agency votes on a petition to revoke New Life Evangelistic Center’s hotel license.

Downtown residents and business owners began petitioning to close New Life two years ago, saying that the facility is a detriment to the neighborhood.

Mayor Francis Slay requested that the two sides undergo mediation in October, but New Life founder Rev. Larry Rice said the mediation was not successful.

After 13 years, homeless advocate Bill Siedhoff stepped down in November from his post as director of the St. Louis Department of Human Services.

“It’s been a very rewarding career, I would say,” Siedhoff told “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh on Wednesday. As director, Siedhoff was responsible for overseeing services for youth, the elderly, the disabled and the homeless.

Want to rock out to holiday music while supporting a local charity? Easy.

At Home(s) for the Holidays, concertgoers donate the cost of their ticket to one of four local charities.

Researcher and consultant Iain De Jong speaks about ending chronic homelessness on November 20, 2014 at Christ Church Cathedral.
Camille Phillips/St. Louis Public Radio

Those who want to help the homeless—whether by offering a hot meal or a temporary bed—should focus instead on trying to find them a permanent home as quickly as possible.

That's what researcher Iain De Jong told about 40 people gathered at Christ Church Cathedral in downtown St. Louis Thursday for a presentation on ending chronic homelessness.

Curesa Atkins sits in her apartment at the Garfield Commons.
Durrie Bouscaren / St. Louis Public Radio

When Curesa Atkins moved into her apartment at Garfield Commons, a group from her church decorated it for her.

“It was snowing, and I just thought, 'Thank God. I’m watching it from the other side of the window when there’s so, so many people out there,'” Atkins said.

Atkins, a 42-year-old former dental assistant, said she became homeless after a dealing with series of car repairs, a change in her marital status and, eventually, the loss of her job.

The former Garfield School in St. Louis has been renovated and will open on Nov. 19, 2014, as Garfield Commons with 25 apartments for single chronically homeless adults.
Google Maps

When Garfield Commons, the former Garfield Elementary School in St. Louis, formally opens this week, it will provide 25 apartments for single homeless adults and assist 40 homeless and HIV-positive people annually.

“The individuals who are moving into Garfield Commons are coming from a chronically homeless background, as well as folks who have had recurring issues with substance abuse, folks who have significant mental illness,” program director Adam Pearson told “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh on Monday. “We’ll be providing both housing and supportive services.”

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

A nearly two-year-old fight to close the New Life Evangelistic Center in downtown St. Louis will last a while longer.