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Homeless Need Housing Longer Than Overnight

March 3, 2015 Downtown, Featured, Homeless, Midtown 4 Comments

Over the years many have said us downtown loft dwellers don’t want to see the homeless, which is why we want to close Larry Rice’s overnight emergency shelter NLEC. This view many be valid for some of my neighbors, but it doesn’t apply to me or most no doubt, it is heart-wrenching to see people sleeping in doorways, carrying all their possessions in a trash bag. What the solution?

Last year the Board of Adjustment ruled NLEC is a nuisance, in May 2015 must limit beds for homeless to 32 or close
Last year the Board of Adjustment ruled NLEC is a nuisance, in May 2015 must limit beds for homeless to 32 or close

Overnight shelters, like NLEC, do provide a cot, a sandwich, and perhaps a shower — for 12 hours. The next morning they’re sent back out into the streets. The cycle repeats without getting to the root problems that caused the person to become homeless. To me keeping the homeless just above water is cruel.

The homeless can’t do it on their own, none of the world’s deities are going to help either. It’s entirely up to us — baloney sandwiches and an overnight cot aren’t enough.

Only from the stability of a small apartment can they hope to get substance issues under control, learn to prepare meals, be able to get/hold a job. This is unlikely on the street.

Emergency overnight shelters are still necessary when the weather is extreme, but only as a short-term solution. The total cost per person is less when they’re in an apartment vs on the street.

Everyone benefits — except those whose business model is based on hundreds remaining on the streets.

— Steve Patterson


Currently there are "4 comments" on this Article:

  1. Mark says:

    The reality is that Downtown can not afford to absorb any more of the regions homeless and low income population. Downtown is already saturated with section 8 housing which brings a population into an area which they other wise could not afford. This is not good for them, nor is it good for the regions as these are people who can not afford to pay for parking, or the parking tickets their lifestyle brings. While everyone would like to be compassionate and help people in need, the reality once again is that the vast majority of homeless are from somewhere other then downtown St. Louis, with no roots or support system. They are an unnecessary burden on our community, a community struggling to attract tax payers and property owners to pay for life’s necessaries. like other communities. Currently downtown is drowning in homeless people, generating anger amongst the residents which is also not good for the homeless, shoving more homeless people down an unwilling communities throat is not going to make the situation any better. Giving someone who is unable to take care of themselves an apartment is not a solution.
    The reality is that while so many surrounding community’s do nothing and look on the city to take care of their homeless problem, those of us who actually live here are sick and tired of having to deal with these problems on a daily basis and are exercising our rights to voice our displeasure. We don’t want the NLEC or the large populations of homeless people destroying our community and we are tired of people from outside our area telling us what we should be doing when they can’t even walk the walk. No thanks.

  2. John R says:

    Yeah, its great to see good projects like the Salvation Army apartments and the Stamping Lofts (which btw looks like is in the demo zone for the outdoor stadium plan). Hopefully we’ll have more organizations step up throughout the region providing quality supportive housing programs.

  3. Sgt Stadanko says:

    I can understand the moral obligation to help those in need, but NLEC and the (so called) Rev Larry Rice brings even more homeless people than is our fair share. Did you ever see 6am around the NLEC and hordes of homeless shuffle out aimlessly like you would see in a zombie movie… and they head towards where the money is … shaking down the good hardworking people that keep the downtown economy going. The (so called)..”Rev” Larry Bud Melmen is making out like a bandit by getting more homeless downtown via tax free donations from that schlock outfit the NLEC. Let him bring those hapless souls to his residence and see how he likes it.

    Between the crime and the nuisance that so- called Rev Larry Bud Melmen has brought to downtown, more will be moving out of downtown. I know many who site those reasons for moving out. Look at the vacant AT&T buildings downtown… we can’t even get businesses to move in. Most choose West County where you don’t have these problems and a 1% city earnings tax.

    I have been downtown resident since 2004 and the crime and homeless problem have never been this bad. I am planning on moving out this year. …. THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD All you do-gooders that want to take the so called Reverend’s side, are fools. Eventually, your property value will fall & then see how you feel. It’s easy to rally to Larry Bud Melman’s cause but when it starts to cost you money, bet you change your tune. thanks, Sarge


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