Suppose you own a downtown business and there’s a person sleeping outside your back door. What should you do? You could, of course, call the police. Fourth police district commander Jerry Leyshock’s officers have plenty of experience arresting and transporting homeless people from their improvised perches outside, behind, and — once in a while — inside downtown’s businesses, restaurants, hotels, apartments, and condo buildings.
But, Capt. Leyshock also supports a course of action which conserves police resources for anti-crime activities and saves City taxpayers some money — one which certainly represents a more humane and effective way to address the situation: Use one of the outreach teams maintained and deployed by St. Patrick Center and the Housing Resource Center.
Human Services director Bill Siedhoff notes that the City’s outreach, intake, and assessment process is a good example of the high level of coordination among the agencies, charities, churches, and City departments that work with local homeless people. And Bill is very aware that some downtown residents and merchants don’t yet know much about the resources that are already available. That’s why he will be at the next Safety Meeting of the Downtown St. Louis Partnership to talk to downtowners about the homeless services available.