In 2015, Second joined a mission coalition with St. Louis Winter Outreach and other organizations to create a new concept in St. Louis for homeless outreach.
Assisi Houses are established as single-gender permanent shelters through the months of December to March for a set number of individuals selected by a team of people. Members of this team also work to hire supportive overnight staff, facilitate house group sessions, and assess guests throughout their stay. Groups from several non-profit organizations renovate and update the selected space, and gathere donations of beds, blankets, furniture, and appliances from their congregations, families, and friends. At the end of March, the Assisi House switches to semi-permanent housing and the number of residents is halved.
Our guests/tenants begin to pay a small amount of rent to offset the cost of utilities, maintenance, and cost of the building. These guests/tenants may continue to stay in housing as long as they are able to keep up rent and follow the community rules of the house.
Instead of a shelter with a transient population, the guests come home every night to their own beds, reliable utilities, and a hot meal made by caring, nurturing hands. Church teams provide evening meals on a rotating weekly schedule (Thursday evenings for Second).
With funding from our congregation and generous grants from Webster Groves Presbyterian Church (through their Comfort Trust), Second has provided weekly meals to the guests for the past four years, and is in the process of helping establish the 5th Assisi House in St. Louis for Winter 2018-2019.