More Justice Info

Homeless Initiative of St. Clair County

Belleville has no emergency shelter. It is the county seat, the largest municipality in St. Clair County and the site of numerous services including public health, mental health, hospitals, and the MetroLink. We can’t solve our national problems, but we can do our part to help our most vulnerable. Services to homeless people, in Belleville, are not well coordinated and as such are inefficient and ineffective from the point of view of homeless and poor people and from the tax payer’s point of view. An emergency shelter in Belleville must be easily accessible and provide linkage and coordination of all services for the continuum of care. To be successful, an emergency shelter in Belleville needs to bring together all components– corporations, individuals, foundations, small businesses, the faith community, civic organizations, government and families.

Our philosophy is that if you are able to work—work. As such we need to provide opportunities for those who are able to work to move beyond shelter to housing and jobs, keeping in mind that poverty and unemployment is higher than average in Saint Clair County compared to the national average. Affordable housing is also difficult to find in this area.

We welcome all; seek to empower those we serve, fully embrace the philosophy and practice of respect for all. We want to provide accommodations to those who are accompanied by pets and have sufficient space to store and distribute donated items.

Suggested sites:

  • Along the route of East Main St. and Carlyle Av. to SWIC and Scott Air Force Base.
  • First Baptist Church on Frank Scott Parkway near Route 161 (currently for sale).
  • St. Elizabeth Hospital, as it is abandoned
  • West Belleville from 47th and West Main to 74th St.

Community Land Trust: A nonprofit corporation that develops and stewards affordable housing, community gardens and other kinds of community spaces and community assets on behalf of the community.

“Democratic Architecture” by architect Donald MacDonald provides ideas for shelter and housing that is more affordable and environmentally sensitive. It could be a basis for creating, not only shelter and housing, but also a jobs program.

Criminalizing Homelessness May Result in Loss of Federal Funds (HUD). National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty

National Jobs for All Coalition. Supports a living wage job for all able and willing to work.

P. U. P. Progressives United for Progress (Belleville, IL)— Contact: Jesse Arms