ST. LOUIS COUNTY (KMOX) – Clearing the streets of homeless people around New Life Evangelistic Center in downtown St. Louis may be a temporary fix for the City, but the Reverend Larry Rice has taken his cause to the County.
A St. Louis County homeless shelter is quickly becoming a reality and the County Executive not only wants a shelter, but is looking to provide services for the homeless.
Mike Jones, Charlie Dooley’s Senior Policy Advisor, says advocates, including Reverend Rice, called for a special meeting with County officials and had a couple goals in mind.
“In the very near term, two or three months, to have a transitional shelter in St. Louis County,” Jones said. “We’re just beginning the process of evaluating those responses. Second, [Dooley] has a commitment to establish an emergency shelter in St. Louis County, hopefully before it gets too cold this winter.”
Jones says the biggest concern of advocates and County officials is homeless women and children.
“If you listen to them, they’re citizens just like all of us and the reality is they’re before the grace of God when they have a break or lost job or health incident,” Jones said. “There are a whole lot of people who are just one unfortunate incident away from joining the ranks of the people I met with.”
Another component Jones says the County is committed to is to sponsor a summit with the faith-based community and anyone else interested in solving the homeless problem.
There is not a definite date for the transitional shelter or the summit, but Jones adds that October is Homeless Awareness month.