ST. CHARLES, Mo. – St. Charles Mayor Dan Borgmeyer says there is a growing homeless problem in his city, and they must get a handle on it.
The mayor sought $10 million in ARPA pandemic funding to build a homeless center in St. Charles County, which would provide medical attention, as well as job-training skills, to the unhoused. But his requests were turned down.
Borgmeyer said all the mayor’s he’s spoke agreed with him and supported the move for the money.
“We see it growing a need for this, and it’s growing and growing, and a lot of people; it’s a silent group of people that you really don’t see, but when you do see them, there’s negativity and so forth,” he said. “I been passionate about it for four years. We applied for a grant with the other mayors in the county. Unfortunately, we were not successful in getting that.”
Borgmeyer surveyed residents about the effort in his newsletter. Turned out the majority of St Charles residents didn’t want to spend money on a homeless center in St Charles.
“That’s right; they didn’t want a homeless shelter in St. Charles,” he said. “Fifty percent of the people that come back from the newsletter want them arrested, want them put in jail; the other 50 percent want them coddled and taken care of, and treated in a Christian way.”
Borgmeyer said Atlanta has a similar problem, but went to the private sector to get money for the homeless project. He said mayors in St. Charles County may have to do the same.
“This is not a problem that any of the mayors in St. Charles County have turned their back on. Everybody is concerned about it. St. Charles, St. Peters, O’Fallon; we’re all in lockstep on it, and they were all a part of applying for this grant, and we all agreed it if and when we get the money, we’ll decide,” Borgmeyer said.
“… Now that the ARPA fund money is technically not available, and we didn’t get it, then we have to find another avenue, but I would say the support has to come from the private sector.”