These are two interesting updates on ending homelessness efforts that might be of interest.
Private sources will fund the expansion of a day-time center considered key to St. Louis’ 10-year plan to end chronic homelessness, reported the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The Centenary Church Drop-in Center services about 200 homeless and poor people, Monday through Saturday. The center offers free meals; phone, voice-mail, and mail access; assistance applying for identity papers; and mental health counseling and other social services. The center, which opened in December 2005, receives financial support from the city’s Affordable Housing Commission and private donations and grants. Church and foundation funds are supporting $130,000 in construction of new handicapped-accessible restrooms, kitchen remodeling, and other upgrades. In the near future, the center plans to offer evening meals and access to showers and computers, the article said. To read the full article click here.
In Arkansas, architects are working with homeless advocates and community leaders to design a hypothetical homeless resource center for Little Rock, reported the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. The Arkansas chapter of the American Institute of Architects is hosting a charrette to propose design options for the center as part of the AIA’s nationwide community-service initiative. To celebrate the AIA’s 150th anniversary, chapters were charged with tackling community-specific problems. The Arkansas chapter chose homelessness. AIA Arkansas hopes to persuade state and local policymakers to consider supporting a homeless center, although one hasn’t been commissioned. The architect who designed the Austin, Texas, Resource Center for the Homeless will speak to the AIA prior to the charrette. In addition to serving as a clearinghouse for homeless services, the Austin center allows nonprofit providers to cut costs by sharing office space and resources, an AIA Arkansas official said. According to a national homeless advocate, multi-service centers for the homeless are up and running in places around the country and have proven successful. To read the full article click here.