ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Mayor Lyda Krewson’s administration is putting together a framework for how to best use federal relief dollars expected to arrive in May.
“We’re trying to keep people in houses, keep utilities paid and find a place for folks that are unhoused or on the streets,” said Krewson.
She said the federal relief bill signed by President Joe Biden is expected to result in approximately $500 million being sent to St. Louis.
The mayor said the amount sent to various cities was determined in part by poverty levels and housing conditions. “50% of the money is expected to come to the city in 60 days, so that’s May 11th ,” said Krewson. “One year later, you get the second half of the money.”
Deon Randolph is pastor of All Saints Southern Baptist Church on the corner of Page Blvd. and Pendleton Ave. in north St. Louis’ Vandeventer neighborhood. He’s hopeful the relief package will help an area he’s seen devastated by the pandemic.
“It’s been a really horrific time for this community,” said Randolph.
The church collects food and basic supplies to help those struggling to put food on their table or pay bills. Randolph believes the relief money will make a big difference. “We hope that this is a new start and a new beginning for everyone,” he said.
Many struggling families have turned to the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis for help. “I literally just talked to someone today who had been laid off from her job of 28 years of working with a company where she had good pay, good benefits, and what was thought to be a career for the rest of her life,” said Michael P. McMillan, President and CEO of the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis. “Sadly, because of the impacts of COVID, she lost her position.”
The Urban League has provided $10 million worth of pandemic relief assistance and has helped hundreds find jobs throughout the region. McMillan said the Urban League is ready to be a vehicle to help administer COVID relief funds.
McMillan said, “We’re definitely hopeful that some of the governmental assistance that’s coming to the city, the county the state and in Illinois in terms of our presence over there will be able to be utilized by our clients and we would be happy to be the conduit.”