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'We need your help': St. Louis non-profit loses city funding for shelters

City Hope St. Louis has operated multiple night-by-night shelters in the St. Louis metro region for the past three years. Now, funding by the city is gone.

ST. LOUIS — A non-profit is pleading for the community's help as much-needed funding from the city comes to an end.

The main mission of City Hope St. Louis is taking care of the unhoused and now some shelters are in jeopardy.  

City Hope St. Louis has successfully operated multiple night-by-night shelters in the St. Louis metro region for the past three years.

CEO Bishop Michael Robinson said the contract with the City of St. Louis expired on Aug. 31, 2022, and was not renewed. 

Now, he said, the non-profit is left scrambling as they try to keep this necessity open for our unhoused community members.

"There are no other night-by-night, walk-up shelters available in the city, and so this would be devastating for us," Robinson said.

From the outside, Asbury United Methodist Church looks like your average place of faith, but inside the stained glass windows represent an actual home for some.

It's one of two of City Hope St. Louis' night-by-night shelters, according to Robinson. 

"These are places where individuals don't need a referral, they can just show up with their stuff, with everything they have, and have a great shelter bed available to them," he said.

Robinson has run these safe havens for the past several years with help from the City of St. Louis. Now, that help is gone.

"That's why we're pushing. We're using our reserves and we're counting on the city, the citizens of St. Louis, to come in and help us out, as they've always done," he said.

That help couldn't come any faster, since both shelters combined can only house 40 people, and the need continues to grow. 

According to Robinson, they're turning somebody away every night.

"Last week, we turned about 15 individuals away in one day, and I was deeply saddened by that," he said.

Without the city's funds, Robinson worries of what would happen, if they have to shut their doors.

"It means that individuals will be in harm's way. That means there'll be more people out on the street, that can't find adequate shelter," he said.

That's why Robinson is calling on the community for support.

"Homelessness is not seasonal. It doesn't just happen in the winter. It's all year long, 365, 24/7. City Hope St. Louis is here to provide those services, and we need your help," he said.

City Hope St. Louis is hosting a "Black Tie Gala" on Monday, September 19, at Hotel St. Louis.

Robinson said all the money raised at this event will go directly to keeping these night-by-night shelters open for the community.

You can reach out to City Hope St. Louis through their Facebook page or website.

Tickets for the "Black Tie Gala" can be bought here, or if you can't attend, you can donate here.

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