Own Home Emergency Housing serves people living with HIV/AIDS and their families who are presently homeless and in urgent need of emergency shelter. Through the Ryan White Case Management system, clients are referred to DOORWAYS housing coordinators who immediately begin a two-pronged service effort. Providing a place to live is the first priority. Clients are eligible for up to 60 days of emergency housing, which can be in DOORWAYS-leased apartment units or motels if need exceeds resources.  All housing is inspected to assure safe and healthy living conditions.  Clients typically receive a monthly bus pass, one bag of food, toiletries, including a towel and a set of sheets.

Housing alone won’t break the cycle of homelessness. Housing coordinators also provide intensive case management services. The process begins with an intake assessment to identify immediate needs, as well as barriers to permanent housing. The client and coordinator create 30-day goals to achieve permanent housing. Securing a source of income is the largest barrier faced by clients in need of permanent housing. Clients are referred to the DOORWAYS employment specialist, as well as outside job training services. Referrals are also provided for food, health services, substance use/mental health counseling, and any other resource needed to stabilize the effects of life-limiting challenges. Every effort is made to meet with the client on a weekly basis to assure progress in attaining housing goals and meeting personal needs of the individual and family members.


In fiscal year 2018 , the Own Home Program provided 286 households affected by HIV/AIDS with 16,393 nights of emergency housing. The clients and family members totaled 388 people—of which 16% were children.  Among the 286 clients, 75% were male and 76% were African-American. Each was eligible for either 30, 60, or 90 days of shelter.  Some were able to quickly find other accommodations, while others had no options and remained the duration.  Without this support, they could end up in dangerous situations physically, as well as emotionally. Their HIV/AIDS treatment would be jeopardized, since it is difficult to maintain needed medication supply when living on the streets, in shelters, or in transient and insecure accommodations. Their health would deteriorate, creating a ripple effect of difficulties; thus, emergency housing provides stabilization and the opportunity to improve outcomes, with the ultimate goal to return to permanent housing and successfully live independently as a contributing member of the community.  Additionally, this service can reduce the chances of transmission of HIV/AIDS.  Housing provides stability. Stability is needed for participation in the treatment of HIV/AIDS. A consistent treatment can lead to viral suppression, which allows the person to live a near-normal life span with little risk of transmitting the virus to others.

Eligibility Requirements

If you are in need of emergency housing, please click here to review eligibility guidelines for housing assistance.



Direct service costs to pay emergency housing expenses in 2018 totaled $500,821. This does not account for the cost of the bus passes, food, toiletries, and towel set provided to each person being housed. If you wish to help, please click here to review our list of current needs.

If you are a landlord with housing to lease, please send details with your contact information to info@doorwayshousing.org and we will reply as soon as possible.



This activity is financed in part through an allocation of Community Development Block Grant funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the City of St. Louis’ Community Development Administration.