ST. LOUIS – More than 100 people filled the basement of the Carondelet Public Library Thursday night to voice their support and their concern about a potential 100-men shelter coming to their neighborhood.
The shelter proposed by Peter and Paul Community Services is still in its early stages. PPCS still needs to get 50 percent of nearby homeowners and renters to sign off on a petition to approve the shelter.
A petition that Aidan McNamara will not be signing.
“Our community cannot hold another 100 people,” McNamara said.
He presented a PowerPoint on behalf of Carondelet Cares, a neighborhood association, against the proposed shelter.
“I’m against putting 100 homeless men into a 100 percent residential neighborhood,” McNamara said.
He said he lived in Carondelet for seven years. He cited a lower home value due to the shelter and safety issues as his main cause for concern.
The shelter will not carry out background checks on people coming to the shelter but will perform weapon checks and work with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department and nearby business owners to patrol the area.
On the other side of the aisle is Steve Campbell who’s worked with PPCS for nearly 40 years.
“I think that it can work,” Campbell said. “I think that if a shelter is responsibly managed that they can work hand in hand with the neighborhood.”
PPCS currently runs the overnight St. Peter and Paul Shelter in Soulard. The Soulard shelter would move to the bigger space in Carondelet, increasing the shelter space from 60 to 100.
“There’s a chronic need for more shelter space,” Campbell said.
PPCS will hold another community meeting on March 13 at 5:30 p.m. at the Carondelet Public Library.