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Troy, Mo. - Chris Schieffer addressed the Troy Board of Aldermen at their meeting on November 15 to discuss and bring awareness to the increase in the need for emergency housing for unhoused individuals in Troy.

The average rent for a one-bedroom in Troy is $1,099, according to Zumper. The gross rent from 2015 to 2019 in Lincoln County was $854 per the U.S. Census Bureau.

A lack of affordable housing is a problem, Schieffer stated in his address to the board.

“The need for shelter has gone way beyond what we could have imagined,” he explained.

To combat the growing problem, Schieffer went to the board to bring awareness to the issue as well as suggest a potential solution.

“We have located a building, it’s an old church,” Schieffer explained.

A converted church would be a way to provide immediate, emergency housing to those in need.

“Tonight I just wanted to get this mission on your radar. In the future, I’ll be back with a defined mission,” said Schieffer.

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), as of January 2020, the state of Mo. had an estimated 6,527 individuals experiencing homelessness on any given day. Of that number, 453 are veterans, 704 are family households and 664 are young adults aged 18 to 24. 

The actual number is likely much higher than what official reports show. Rural areas often go underreported, in what’s known as the “hidden homeless population”. As those areas grow, it becomes more apparent that the unhoused community is much larger than initially theorized and the need for assistance is far greater.