ST. LOUIS — Catholic Charities of St. Louis is one of five agencies chosen for a mulit-million-dollar pilot program hoping to reduce homelessness and help people find health services.

The Healthy Housing Initiative was launched in five cities by Catholic Charities USA. The other cities are Detroit; Las Vegas; Portland, Oregon; and Spokane, Washington.

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Locally, Catholic Charities of St. Louis will work with St. Patrick Center, the Archdiocese of St. Louis, Incarnate Word Foundation, Mercy and SSM Health.

The goals of the five-year plan include reducing chronic homelessness by 20 percent, decreasing hospital readmission rates for the homeless population by 25 percent and connecting 35 percent of the newly housed with long-term health services.