Ending homelessness is surprisingly economical.

Sure, it’s bold to say ending homelessness is economical. But the reality is getting people off the streets actually saves taxpayer dollars. Specific to HomeFirst residents, a small contribution makes a massive difference:

  • $20 purchases a set of dishes, so a resident can enjoy a home-cooked meal in their very own kitchen.
  • $75 provides a resident with a bus pass for a month, so they have reliable transportation to work or school.
  • $250 buys a mattress set, so a new resident can get adequate sleep—often for the first time in months.
  • $500 subsidizes a resident’s rent for three months, providing them a stable place from which they can begin moving forward again.

We can end homelessness in St. Louis. One resident at a time.

A major contributor to homelessness in St. Louis is the lack of affordable housing.

With the support of our generous donors, we can:


We find four-family units in need of a bit of TLC—but in safe neighborhoods with easy access to public transportation.


Professional contractors and volunteers help us get our apartments ready for residents.


Our donors ensure our residents have everything they need: furniture, food, dishes, linens, bus passes, and more.

Everyone deserves a safe home of their own.

When people lack the money and support they need to stay housed long-term, they can’t move forward with their lives. They can’t attend school, look for work, or care for their families. This leaves them feeling hopeless and stuck, unworthy and unloved. That’s just not OK with us, and we hope it’s not OK with you, either.

Your online shopping can matter.

As you might expect, people who’ve been homeless have very few possessions… and certainly nothing like a can opener, dish soap, or bath towels. 

That’s why when our residents move in, we make sure they have everything they need to begin moving forward, from furniture to a fully stocked pantry. 

Want to help? Making a donation from our Target Wish List is fast and easy—and makes a true difference.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you accept furniture donations?

From time to time, we have a need for specific pieces of furniture (in gently used, working condition):

  • dining tables (4′ x 4′ or smaller)
  • dining chairs
  • side tables
  • coffee tables
  • tall dressers (wide dressers don’t fit in our compact units)
  • nightstands
  • full or queen size bed frames and headboards

Please note we only accept new mattresses.

If you have something you’d like to donate, please email info@homefirststl.org. If you have donations we aren’t able to accept at this time, please consider working with The Sharing Shed

Do HomeFirst residents pay rent?

People considering donating to HomeFirst often want to know if we charge our residents rent. That’s a great question, and the short answer is, “Yes.” As you can imagine, it usually takes a little time for people to get back on their feet after living on the streets, so we rarely charge rent immediately. But when our residents’ income (and life) stabilizes, our lease agreement expects residents to pay 30% of their income up to market rate ($450/month).

How long can residents stay in a HomeFirst apartment?

Unlike with “emergency” or “transitional” housing models, HomeFirst housing isn’t time-limited. As long as residents continue to meet program guidelines, they’re welcome to stay in one of our apartments.

How does someone qualify for the HomeFirst program?

We ask our trusted community partners to send us a referral for single men who are ready to make a lasting change in their lives, are employed or able to seek employment within 90 days of being housed, and are ineligible for other housing assistance programs. Then, our Care Coordinator and members of our Advocate team meet with the candidate to discuss our guidelines. If it seems like our program will help the person stay house long-term, and if they agree to our guidelines, we offer them a place.