Approximately 25% of the single adult homeless population lives with a severe and persistent mental illness like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or depression. A study done by the Missouri Association for Social Welfare stated, “94% of homeless persons who are severely mentally ill are capable of living in the community with appropriate, supportive housing.” Those who are mentally ill and homeless have a right to lead fulfilling, independent lives, but they require support beyond what emergency shelters and conventional transitional housing services are able to provide.
Peter & Paul Community Services opened the Benedict Joseph Labre Center in 1996 to serve men and women living with a mental illness. The Labre Center is the most intensive and hands-on program of this kind in the St. Louis metropolitan area.
- Serves 15 adult male residents who may stay up to 2 years
- 100% of residents have severe and persistent mental illnesses
- 85% of residents also have an addictive disorder
A mentally ill person’s journey to achieve an independent and fulfilling life requires a collaborative effort on the part of the individual, the team of caregivers, and the community. Each resident’s process is different, and the Labre Center works to engage patients with their fellow residents and community, while also specifically tailoring aid to the individual. Residents collectively shop for groceries, cook meals, complete art projects, and learn life skills. They also meet individually with the Labre Center staff to develop and meet personal goals.
Those who are homeless and living with HIV face several challenges. Many have mental illnesses like depression, or substance abuse problems that stem from their diagnosis. For those who are homeless and living with HIV, staying healthy is the most effective way to cope with the disease, and, in their cases, housing is health care. Stable housing provides the ability to take HIV medications on a regular basis safely, which is vital to living with the disease.
- Positive Directions is a transitional housing program that provides housing and supportive services to homeless men and women who live with HIV, mental illness, and/or substance abuse.
- Serves 20 men and women living with HIV
- Residents may stay up to 2 years
- 100% of residents enroll in case management and access primary medical care