Street Level, several organizations bring awareness of lack of support for the homeless population

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KBSI) With the problem that affects the nation we looked into how the Cape Girardeau and Cape Girardeau County area handle shelters and care for the homeless. 

According to Policyadvice, on a single night, more than half a million Americans are without a home. Homelessness is a persistent issue that is worsened by the shortage of homeless shelters. 

In Cape Girardeau, several organizations like Street Level, are trying to bring awareness to this lack of support for the homeless population. Allie Milies founder of Street Level believes that the city needs to do much more.  

“If your community can pay an officer to drive around town and collect homeless animals and then take those homeless animals to a shelter and provide that homeless animal with food and water, I’m not quite sure why we can’t do that for homeless people human beings,” said Milies. 

Melissa Stickel, with Community Partnership of Southeast Missouri, says her organization offers day shelters for the homeless population. 

“They need permanent housing, a place that’s safe for them with the appropriate supports that they are going to need to someday exit successfully from that program and be able to stay stable in that house so you have permanency and you have supports to do that,” said Stickel. 

But when it comes to opening an overnight shelter, Stickel says the size of the population doesn’t match the cost needed to run one.  

“But to operate a 24/7 emergency shelter for people experiencing homelessness in this community with our size population is really not cost-efficient,” said Stickel. 

Cape Girardeau City Manager Dr. Kenneth Haskin says contrary to popular belief the city is not responsible for the development of these shelters.  

“It is considered a general government service especially the city engaging in the development of homeless shelters and owning it operating a homeless shelter and the answer is no,” said Haskin. 

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