THE HOMELESS PROBLEM
"Homelessness is a persistent problem nationally and the situation is little different in St. Louis. Lack of education, lower socio-economic standing in the society, psychological problems caused by trauma, war, rape and a host of other causes, inaccessibility to adequate housing: these are just a few of the problems that face people who are at risk of losing their residences and live in dangerous, uninhabitable conditions, are doubled-up and/or are living on the streets.
Calculating a fair estimate of the number of homeless people in the city of St. Louis is difficult; estimates range from a low of 8,000 to 13,000 (see "Needs and Challenges" section). Though definitive numbers are difficult to quantify, the problem of homeless has not improved in recent years, and will in all probability become worse with the continuing implementation of welfare reform. Governments and private agencies often end up providing stopgap measures in the face of complex problems associated with this often-desperate population. Real change in the overall situation is hard to quantify; often, the best that can be hoped for is adequate provision of maintenance services to homeless individuals and families, with the expectation that the families will not fall into even worse situations than they presently find themselves.
In the midst of this otherwise bleak picture, many agencies in St. Louis have been providing important services to the homeless. Special populations, such as veterans, the mentally ill, HIV/AIDS clients, adolescents, families with children, pregnant women, and domestic abuse survivors are being attended to with programs that attempt to adequately address their issues. Improvements, often difficult to manifest in this environment, have occurred, such as a centralized intake system that has been created to more efficiently refer homeless persons to programs which can best serve them, and outreach aimed at the hard to reach homeless, plus a modicum of prevention programs."
I'm feeling very thankful for my warm home tonight and acknowledging how blessed we are.
Daily Meals ~
Daily Totals ~ $1.19