Efforts to Assist the Homeless in St. Louis

RCED-94-97R: Published: Jul 11, 1994. Publicly Released: Jul 11, 1994.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the role of McKinney Act programs in assisting the homeless in St. Louis, Missouri. GAO noted that: (1) homeless emergency shelter services have been available in St. Louis since the 1940's; (2) before McKinney Act programs became available in St. Louis, churches, missions, and city-funded hospitals provided emergency food and shelter and limited health care services to the homeless; (3) since 1987, McKinney Act programs have played an important role in St. Louis' efforts to assist the homeless; (4) McKinney programs have supplemented existing emergency food and shelter services, expanded existing employment and adult education services, and funded innovative programs for homeless mothers with drug abuse problems, health care services, and mobile outreach services to the mentally ill; (5) local service providers believe that their current resources are not sufficient to meet the special needs of the homeless and that St. Louis needs to be more responsive to the housing needs of low-income families; (6) St. Louis probably undercounts some homeless subgroups that do not or cannot access services; and (7) St. Louis should seek new and creative ways to provide additional low-income housing.

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