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City, County unveil homelessness plan

Phillip Mangano, the executive director of U.S. Council on Homelessness (L) and Mayor Francis Slay display their copies of a 10-year plan to end chronic homelessness. (UPI Photo/Bill Greenblatt)

By Kevin Lavery, KWMU

St. Louis, MO –

St. Louis city and St. Louis County are launching an ambitious plan to end chronic homelessness in the region in the next ten years.

The plan puts a priority on moving people from shelters to permanent housing as quickly as possible.

A central goal is to build 700 additional supportive housing units in the region by 2015.

Interagency Council on Homelessness director Phillip Mangano says the plan will uproot the status quo.

"Shuffling homeless people from one program to another; shuffling homeless people from the street to treatment and back to the street. You've rejected that intolerable cycling in this plan," Mangano said.

The program also focuses on bringing teams of experts together to treat a client's physical and emotional needs.

John O'Brien was homeless for eight months. He applied for more than 400 jobs before finally getting work.

"From what I've found, you have to have an address. If you don't have an address, then they don't even consider you. They don't even look at you, said O'Brien.

Over the course of a year, officials estimate about 9,000 people enter in and out of homelessness in the city and county.

Officials plan to break ground on a 26 unit complex next spring.


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