5 Takeaways from the September Network All-Coalition Meeting

1. Network Coalition Members serve people at every stage of life 

Network Coalition Members serve people in the 24:1 area in every stage of life, with services addressing the needs of pregnant people through childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. This month, we heard from Coalition Members who provide service-enriched housing for people in all stages of the housing continuum, including Beyond Housing, Epworth Children and Family Services, the Housing Authority of St. Louis County, and St. Vincent’s Home for Children

2. Stable housing builds equity

Without stable housing, children and youth struggle to succeed in school, and adults struggle to pursue education and careers. Stable housing transforms schools and communities by giving residents the safety and security they require to improve their lives.

3. Words matter 

We discussed how language can undermine service. Well-intentioned people sometimes label people as “homeless,” but the negative connotations associated with that term influence how people perceive our friends and neighbors who don’t have stable housing. It also influences how these neighbors perceive themselves. Instead, the terms “unhoused” and “unhoused neighbors” are the preferred, more neutral ways to describe people who lack stable housing. 

4. The need is real

In 2021, Normandy Schools Collaborative reported 104 families in transition, 418 youth who share housing with others but do not have a permanent residence, and 77 unhoused youth without adult caregivers. Among those who have stable housing, many more people in the 24:1 area rent their homes (54%) than in St. Louis County (31%) or nationwide (36%). 

5. The conversation continues 

In October, we’ll discuss wraparound services in the NSC, and in November, we’ll continue our conversation about service-enriched housing in the 24:1 footprint, including the transition from renting to homeownership and the importance of community revitalization through demolition. We look forward to seeing you in person on October 13 and via Zoom on November 10.