St. Pete funds Uptown shelter after changes made
St. Vincent de Paul's shelter in Uptown will continue receiving city money, ending a contentious chapter between the Catholic non-profit and surrounding neighborhoods, whose complaints about trash, feces and crime from homeless people drawn to the shelter spurred some council members to call for a halt in city support earlier this year.
The $148,633 for the St. Vincent's shelter was approved unanimously by the City Council Monday. City Council member Karl Nurse, who had led the chage to deny city funding if conditions around the shelter didn't improve, complimented the improvements put in place by St. Viincent in recent months.
Some of those changes include: limiting services to 120 people who are paired with a St. Vincent "navigator" to help them develop a plan to find "self-sufficiency/permanent housing". The Society hopes to place 20 percent of its clients within permenent, transitional or other types of housing by the end of next September..
If a client isn't registered for day services at the shelter, they can't spend the night, St. Vincent's chief executive offier Michael Raposa said.
Raposa said the 20 percent goal is conservative, but reflects the increasingly scarce stocks of affordable housing and programs designed to help homeless people attain that housing.
Since the policy change in early October, the number of homeless congregating around the shelter on Fourth Ave N have dropped, city officials said. The number of clients for the shelter decreased from 1,000 to 206, Raposa said.