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Poverty and Homelessness in St. Louis

Jim Belford | Flickr

There is good and bad news when it comes to the latest government figures on poverty in America.  The good news is that the poverty rate has more or less stabilized for the first time in three years, while the bad news is that the number of people living in poverty in the St. Louis area is well above the national average.  Join host Don Marsh for a discussion about poverty and its ripple effects in the region.  Later in the program, we’ll take a look at a program designed to keep ex-offenders on the right track.

Segment A – Poverty and the Homeless in St. Louis

Guest: Martin Rafanan, Executive Director, Gateway 180: Homelessness Reversed

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Martin Rafanan mentioned he works in the largest emergency shelter for women and children in Missouri.  There, he says, one in five women at the shelter work fulltime but can’t afford to live anywhere else.  “When a person is doing everything that they possibly can to play by the rules, to do everything they can to work, and to provide for their family and yet they are still in a position that they have to be in an emergency shelter, I think we can do better than that as a community and I believe that St. Louis is very committed to doing better than that and helping people,” said Rafanan.

Rafanan also said, according to the most recent census of homeless people conducted a few months ago, there are about 1,400 people without a home in St. Louis.  Of those, however, Rafanan said 1,250 are receiving some form of aid.

Related Event:

Community Against Poverty’s (CAP) Volunteer Fair
Sunday, September 23, 2012
3:00 - 5:00 p.m.
The Heights, 8001 Dale Ave
(314) 442-3894

Segment B – Support for Ex-Offenders

Guests: Adrienne Denson, Executive Director, Project COPE and Wayne Coleman, President, Project COPE


Related Event:

Project COPE Gala Presents Mike Wolff in "Saving Lives, Saving Talents: Community Help for Ex-Offenders"
Sunday, September 23, 2012
5:15 p.m.
St. Francis Xavier Ballroom, 3628 Lindell
(314) 389-4804

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Alex is the executive producer of "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.
Mary Edwards came to St. Louis Public Radio in 1974, just after finishing her Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She has served the station in a number of capacities over the years. From 1988-2014 she also taught an undergraduate class in radio production at Webster University. Mary was inducted into the St. Louis Media History Foundation Media Hall of Fame in April, 2017 and received the Gateway Media Literacy Partners' Charles Klotzer Media Literacy Award in 2012. Mary retired from St. Louis Public Radio in 2018, but still serves the station as a St. Louis Symphony Producer.
Don Marsh served as host of St. Louis Public Radio’s “St. Louis on the Air" from 2005 to 2019, bringing discussions of significant topics to listeners' ears at noon Monday through Friday. Don has been an active journalist for 58 years in print, radio and television. He has won 12 Regional Emmy Awards for writing, reporting, and producing. He is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, was inducted into the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame in 2013, and named “Media Person of the Year” by the St. Louis Press Club in 2015. He has published three books: his most recent, “Coming of Age, Liver Spots and All: A Humorous Look at the Wonders of Getting Old,” “Flash Frames: Journey of a Journeyman Journalist” and “How to be Rude (Politely).” He holds an honorary Doctor of Arts and Letters degree from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
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