St. Patrick Center | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Patrick Center

Mary and George Hayes test the comfort level of a couch at the Home Sweet Home furniture bank on Feb. 27, 2019.
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

Mary Hayes cradled Tucker, a 15-year-old Boston terrier, tightly in her arms as movers from the nonprofit Home Sweet Home furniture bank maneuvered a donated sofa into her second-floor flat in south St. Louis.

“With the furniture coming, oh, gosh, it’ll be so wonderful,’’ she said, gently rocking Tucker. “It’ll take the emptiness away.’’

The furniture bank operates like a food bank: It collects used furnishings and housewares and distributes them at no charge to people in St. Louis and St. Louis County who are working their way out of sad yesterdays — homelessness, abuse, poverty.

Landlords recruited to rent to St. Louis' homeless veterans

Apr 7, 2017
Moments after recieving the keys to his new apartment, Nicholas Palazzolo checks out the living room and balcony.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Nicholas Palazzolo has been living in his truck since late November last year. At age 73, spending the coldest months of the year in a vehicle isn’t easy — but Palazzolo keeps his situation in perspective.

“I had it easy by comparison,” said Palazzolo. “There are others that are going through some pretty horrific times for an infinite variety of reasons.”

Donald Brewer starts raking trash on 7th Boulevard just after sunset on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2017.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

The Mardi Gras crowd was thinning out, and drunk revelers zigzagged in the middle of the street, kicking cans and shivering in the 35-degree weather. As they left the big party, Donald Antonio Brewer meticulously raked bits of confetti, beads, and plastic cups from the median onto Seventh Street for the street sweepers to catch later that Saturday night.

Voting stations at a polling place.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

As St. Louis area residents head to the polls Tuesday, some have potential obstacles to overcome — aside from long lines.

For people experiencing homelessness, it can be difficult to register to vote. And according to disability advocacy group Paraquad, accessibility continues to be a problem at some polling places in the region.

A team competes during GlobalHack IV in June 2015. GlobalHack VI takes will take place at Chaifetz Arena over three days. More than 1,200 people are expected to take part.
courtesy GlobalHack

GlobalHack VI is all about solving a software problem and bringing attention to St. Louis’ tech scene.

This software competition is focused on helping the St. Patrick Center, a local non-profit that serves the homeless.

The $1 million in cash prizes is helping attract software engineers, graphic designers and other technologists from a wide area. GlobalHack executive director Matt Menietti said earlier this week that 1,200 people had signed up from 33 states and five countries.

He said he hopes they’ll get to know St. Louis a bit more.

City Seeds director Syndey Boyle with former St. Patrick Center client Deborah at the farm in June.
Kim Oswalt | St. Louis Public Radio

Just a few blocks north of Union Station in downtown St. Louis, a 2.5-acre farm sits hidden in plain sight next to the on-ramp for I-64. Despite its size and relatively busy location, few people are aware of its existence.

It isn’t the only farm in the area that no one knows about.

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

For the past decade, the homeless population in the city of St. Louis has hovered between 1,300 and 1,500 people. But a national expert and the CEO of the lead agency selected to run the city’s new homeless shelter say with the right resources and methods, most of those people could be housed.

At a public meeting on Biddle House last Wednesday St. Patrick Center CEO Laurie Phillips said 50 percent of the estimated 1,300 homeless people in St. Louis just need a few months of rental support and help finding a job. That method is called rapid rehousing.

Carr Square resident Catina Wilson speaks to a panel of city officials and representatives from St. Patrick Center and Peter and Paul Wed. May 25, 2016 at the public hearing on the agencies' application to run Biddle House.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

If their reception at a community meeting Wednesday night is any indication, the agencies who submitted the only application to run a new homeless shelter in St. Louis face an uphill battle to convince nearby residents they’ll be a good neighbor.

The plan is for St. Patrick Center to oversee daytime operations at Biddle House, including intake, meals and placement in permanent housing for up to 125 men, women and children. Peter and Paul Community Services would be in charge of the 98-bed overnight shelter for men.

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.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The former executive director of the now-shuttered GO! Network says she will find a way to launch a new organization to assist St. Louisans with their career transitions.

“I’m not finished with this. There’s too much work to be done,’’ said Roni Chambers after the nonprofit held its last weekly session on Aug. 27 at the St. Patrick Center downtown, where it had met since 2009.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The topic was career transitions on this Tuesday morning in a conference room in downtown St. Louis, where 50 or so business professionals were listening intently to a panel of local human resources managers. There were nuggets to be gleaned, to be noted in memo pads.

  • Say yes to LinkedIn.
  • Think global and mobile.
  • Don’t limit job searches to online jobs boards; networking is key.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 15, 2012 - GO! Network, which has assisted more than 4,000 unemployed white-collar St. Louisans in the aftermath of the Great Recession, will shut down June 26 because of a lack of funding, the nonprofit’s executive director said Tuesday.

Roni Chambers, who volunteers her time as the only full-time staffer at GO! Network, made the announcement to about 100 participants at this morning’s weekly workshop.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 20, 2010 - With the nation's economy stuck in low gear, a St. Louis organization that provides support for unemployed business professionals is retooling for the long drive home.

The GO! Network, which was organized by the St. Patrick Center nearly two years ago, has incorporated as a nonprofit corporation, said Chuck Aranda, who recently stepped down as the program's director.