December 9, 2010 – (RealEstateRama) — State Treasurer Clint Zweifel (ZWY-ful) and Places for People broke ground today on Places at Page, Missouri’s first affordable housing development funded by the state’s housing commission specifically targeted to alleviate homelessness amongst individuals living with severe and persistent mental illness. Places for People Executive Director Francie Broderick, Treasurer Zweifel, construction workers and future Places at Page residents helped break down a wall in the new facility expected to be completed by late 2011.
The $5.7 million, historic renovation will provide 23 secure residential apartments equipped with on-site staff and outdoor space for community use. Once complete the project will have provided 71 part-time and 8 full time positions.
“Places at Page represents the critical need for housing people with a mental illness and shows how state resources are being successfully allocated to address this issue,” Broderick said. “More than 75 percent of our new clients come to our agency homeless and living with an untreated mental illness. Housing developments like Places at Page will help address this problem and serve this often forgotten group of people.”
It is estimated each night in Missouri more than 6,000 people are homeless. While 4 percent of the U.S. population has a serious mental illness, among the chronically homeless that percentage ranges from 50-75 percent conservatively.
“Places at Page is a model for leveraging federal and state housing resources – combining long-term stable housing with essential support services individuals suffering from a mental illness need in order to stay off the streets,” Treasurer Zweifel said. “This development and others like it will help mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, veterans and friends suffering from a mental illness stay safe. I am proud to be part of the effort to end the cruel cycle of neglect Missourians with a mental illness face, a cycle that ends today for 23 Missourians. I will continue to push for funding to combine housing and supportive services across our state because it saves community resources and is critical for our state’s most vulnerable citizens.”
As a member of the housing commission, Treasurer Zweifel called on the commission to address this critical issue by setting aside one-third of federal and state tax credits for the development of housing for people with special needs. The housing commission approved a version of his plan that includes funding for at least two housing developments in 2011 focused on chronically homeless individuals, those suffering from mental illness or Missourians with a physical or developmental disability, and youth aging out of foster care.
“With Treasurer Zweifel championing this issue in our state’s housing commission and mental health providers continuing to look for new, creative ways to provide housing and services, we will be able to help more Missourians even in a time when mental health services are being cut in other areas,” Broderick said.
Places at Page funding partners include the housing commission, Department of Mental Health, The Sidney R. Baer Foundation, The Dennis M. Jones Family Foundation, The J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation, The Horncrest Foundation, St. Louis Equity Fund, M&I Bank, Pulaski Bank, St. Michael Houses and Marilyn and Robert Cooper. Places at Page is located at 5235 Page Boulevard and has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1984.
About Places for People:
Founded in 1972, Places for People’s mission is to provide individualized, high-quality and cost-effective services to individuals living with serious and persistent mental disorders. The agency accepts a special responsibility to serve people relying on public funding and offers an array of comprehensive support services for over 480 people in the St. Louis region. For more information visit www.placesforpeople.org.