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Mayor Announces Plan To End Homelessness, Advocate Skeptical

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A few homeless hold down the fort on the sidewalk behind New Life.

A few homeless hold down the fort on the sidewalk behind New Life.

CBS St. Louis (con't)

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - With the mayoral election a week away, Mayor Francis Slay has announced a new plan to do away with chronic homelessness.

Updating his plan to end chronic homelessness by the year 2015, the mayor is out with a new goal. “We could reach a point, eighteen months from now, where we have in fact ended chronic homelessness in St. Louis.”

Slay says there are 138 people who are chronically homeless in St. Louis and, with funding from a $1.25 million federal grant, the goal is to put them in permanent supportive housing.

The Reverend Chris Rice of the New Life Evangelistic Center is skeptical of the city’s numbers.

“For many years, the point in time count was just kind of very loose, the data wasn’t accurate,” he said. “The numbers are not correct because of the way in which they tabulate them is based simply on government funding. In other words, you’re focusing on programs that get government funding so you count people who go to those government programs.”

Eight years ago, the mayor announced his ten-year plan to end chronic homelessness by the year 2015.

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