St. Louis homeless shelter finds new location, plans to expand services

By Steph Kukuljan 
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

April 25, 2024

Originally Published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Continue reading or visit stltoday.com.

ST. LOUIS — One of the region’s most prominent providers of homeless services has bought a new facility in north St. Louis, which it says will enable it to greatly expand its work.

Peter & Paul Community Services’ new location at North Florissant Avenue and Palm Street in the St. Louis Place neighborhood means it will no longer proceed with opening a shelter on Sidney Street in Soulard, a plan that was hotly contested.

The site at 3225 North Florissant, which already operates as a homeless facility, will be known as the Peter & Paul Community Campus, according to a release.

“This purchase means more than doubling our service footprint over the next few years from helping 116 people each night to more than 300,” Board Chair Mike Banahan said in a statement. “We have an incredibly strong leadership team who have successfully managed this degree of growth at other agencies. We believe that we will be a sustainable model of top-quality, compassionate services that will make a world of difference for our St. Louis community.”

Although it had federal money and a mandate from City Hall, Peter & Paul struggled for years to find a neighborhood that would welcome its shelter.

The organization found a site in an industrial area of Soulard for its 100-bed facility but faced pushback from business owners. A city board eventually ruled in Peter & Paul’s favor.

Then on April 15, the nonprofit closed on its purchase of the St. Louis Place facility, a former Little Sister of the Poor site, for $3 million.

The 188,000 square-foot property includes an eight-story tower, a commercial kitchen and dining room, 15 apartments, a 26-room convent, a large chapel, multiple parking lots, and private green space.

The 4.5-acre property fills a block in the St. Louis Place neighborhood roughly between the popular Crown Candy Kitchen and the new western headquarters of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.

Peter & Paul plans to renovate the facility in phases for $20 million. The final construction is expected to wrap in 2026 or 2027, according to a release.

“The site will easily become the largest homeless services space in St. Louis as we expand to full capacity,” Anthony D’Agostino, Peter & Paul CEO, said in a statement.