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After Thieves Stole Guitar Man’s Guitar, His Fans Stepped Up in a Big Way

The Guitar Man of south St. Louis had his set cut short on Monday by thieves.

Roger Ulrich, 57, has played nearly every day for the past four years at the corner of Gravois and Hampton avenues. He performs next to the Steak N Shake, and most days, he takes a quick break inside the busy burger shop.

He leaves his guitar — most recently an Esteban — propped between light poles while he cools off.

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Shared Love of Chess Helps Build Bridges at St. Louis Homeless Shelter

Terry Austin eyes his opponent across the chessboard, then deftly captures his knight.

A few moves later, opponent Ed Rataj admits defeat.

The two play in the communal living area at Biddle House, a shelter for people who are homeless near downtown St. Louis. Austin is a resident. The Biddle House chess club began in 2016, the same year the shelter opened. Twice a week, shelter residents gather to play chess with volunteers from the community.

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Fast-Paced Futsal Match Fosters Awareness of Homelessness

It started as a class on developing leadership skills, but it turned out to be God’s hand working to bring people together through the game of soccer while raising awareness of homelessness.

Junior Tony Petruso had signed up for Leadership, a semester-long elective course for juniors and seniors at St. Dominic High School in O’Fallon. On the first day of class, students received the assignment to design a service project that would take the entire semester to plan and execute. Focus on something you’re passionate about, teacher Nancy Holden-Nims told the class.

So Petruso took his passion for soccer and organized a game between the St. Dominic boys’ soccer team and the St. Louis Roadies. He planned for donations to go to Peter and Paul Community Services, an ecumenical agency that provides housing and supportive services to people who are homeless, including those with mental illness or HIV/AIDS.

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We Lack the Resources to Meet Needs of all the Homeless

Thank you for calling attention to the needs of those who are homeless in St. Louis (“Terminal illness isn’t ticket to shelter,” Oct. 5). Reporter Jesse Bogan “spent much of 24 hours with (homeless man James K.) Turner to better understand the availability of emergency shelter in St. Louis.” His conclusion was “Weeks before cold weather sets in, Biddle House appears to be booked.”

While I appreciate that the article raises awareness of the struggles homeless people face in our community, it should not be news to anyone that we lack resources to meet all the needs we see every day. The beds at Biddle were filled days after it opened in August last year, and they have remained so.

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Street Soccer Goalie to Play for U.S. in Homeless World Cup

Cliff Byrd (above) was the center of attention at the St. Louis Roadies’ practice July 14 because his coaches had been asked to prepare him for his appearance with the U.S. National Team in the Homeless World Cup Aug. 29 to Sept. 5 in Oslo, Norway.

The 25-year-old client of Peter & Paul Community Services — a Catholic-rooted, ecumenical organization that sponsors the local team — will be on the U.S. team competing in street soccer with 70-plus teams from around the world.

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Homeless St. Louis Man Will Rep the U.S. in International Soccer Competition

St. Louis is now home to one of the newest internationally recognized soccer stars — but you may not guess what team he plays for.

Cliff Byrd (pictured far left) was recently selected as a goalie to represent Team USA in the fifteenth annual Homeless World Cup against more than 70 teams worldwide. The competition will take place from Aug. 29 until Sept. 5 in Oslo, Norway.

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