State Sen. Holly Thompson Rehder’s homelessness measure signed into law

HB 1606 provides state funds for facilities that provide mental health services and substance...
HB 1606 provides state funds for facilities that provide mental health services and substance abuse recovery programs along with temporary housing for the homeless.(HNN File (custom credit))
Published: Jun. 30, 2022 at 5:18 PM CDT
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MISSOURI (KFVS) - Legislation sponsored by State Senator Holly Thompson Rehder (R-Scott City) was signed into law Thursday, aimed at decreasing street homelessness in Missouri.

According to a release from State Sen. Rehder, House Bill 1606 includes a provision the senator originally introduced as Senate Bill 1106.

HB 1606 provides state funds for facilities that provide mental health services and substance abuse recovery programs along with temporary housing for the homeless.

“According to research conducted by UCLA, three-quarters of long-term homeless individuals struggle with mental health issues or substance misuse disorders. The national model of “housing first” has failed to focus on these root causes,” Rehder said. “This legislation shifts our focus from long-term housing to short-term housing coupled with wrap around mental health services.”

Rehder says the bill also bans on-street camping in public areas and looks to relocate homeless individuals to treatment facilities.

Nonprofit organizations and public entities will be eligible for state grants to develop camping facilities and short-term shelters with mental health and recovery services on-site.

Additional funding will be available for places that demonstrate success with transitioning homeless individuals into employment and permanent housing.

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