Who We Serve
Housing continues to be one the most pressing problems facing American families today. According to the St. Louis Housing Authority, there are over 5,000 people on the Section 8 waiting list, so many that the list has been closed for nearly a year.
Unfortunately, even more Americans are at risk of homelessness. A January 2001 report by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), found that 4.9 million low-income American households have the most housing needs, paying more than 50% of their income on rent, while HUD estimate that figure should be no more than 30%.
As stated by Burlington Mayor, Peter Clavelle, Chair of the Conference’s Task Force on Hunger Homelessness, “homelessness is not the problem, but instead it is a symptom of an affordable housing crisis.” Even though there is an increase in economic expansion, low-income, working families are facing the challenge of finding decent, affordable housing.
There are a variety of factors that play a role in the causes of homelessness: domestic violence, job or income loss, poor health, substance abuse and lack of affordable housing to name a few. All of these factors make it difficult for a person to create a healthy, stable environment for their family.
Job loss or lack of income is another risk factor for homelessness. Although the poor are most at risk for becoming homeless, middle class families who lose wage earner income may not be able to continue monthly housing payments leading to eviction.
Affordable housing is needed for homeless families across the spectrum. Increasing rents, destruction of traditional low-income housing and recent cuts in federal housing programs continues to threaten affordable housing. The Low Income Housing Information Service estimate that there are twice as many low-income families searching for housing than are available. Government affordable housing programs, such as section 8 have a waiting list that are several years long.
Affordable housing initiatives should be targeted to families with fixed or low income, who are at or below 30% of the area median income. Neighborhoods can become stabilized by properties that are rehabilitated and maintained.
Our Population At A Glance
Many of these men and women have long histories, traveling from foster homes, abusive families and relationships, as well as shelters and poverty stricken neighborhoods. Many as a result often lack role models and have a difficulty sustaining motivation. Most have never in their lives known opportunity or stability.
Approximately 50% of our resident will receive some type of public assistance, and most have income that falls below 20% of the median income.
Lasting success for these clients is difficult without first learning skills such as communication, responsibility, and self-discipline. It is our goal to provide service to educate these clients, so that they are able to create healthy, supportive environments for their families.