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St. Louis gets $1 million for homeless services

St. Louis gets $1 million for homeless services

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ST. LOUIS • The city has received an additional $1 million in federal money for homeless services.  

The money was awarded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. It is in addition to $1.25 million it received for mental health services earlier this year.  

"This HUD grant is one of the largest we have ever received, and the additional $1 million for the BEACH Project puts us on the cusp of ending chronic homelessness in the City of St. Louis," said Mayor Francis Slay in a statement. "This allows us to dramatically improve the lives of homeless men, women and children, making them the real winners as a result of the City receiving this important HUD grant."

In 2005, officials announced a goal to end chronic homelessness in the city within 10 years, known as the BEACH project (Beginning of the End: Abolishing Chronic Homelessness).   

Officials estimate there are about 178 chronically homeless people in the city. Following the closing of the "Camp Plum" homeless camp, certain parts of downtown have seen an increase in gatherings of homeless people.  

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development defines a person as chronically homeless if they have a disabling condition and have been "continuously homeless for a year or more, or an unaccompanied individual with a disabling condition who has had at least four episodes of homelessness in the past three years."

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Nicholas J.C. Pistor is a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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