Founded in 1972, Places for People has grown from its grassroots beginnings and  to become a leader in the behavioral health field, serving more than 3,150 people annually, with more than 360 employees and an operating budget exceeding $33 million. Today’s Places for People is the result of a historic, voluntary merger between Places for People and Community Alternatives in 2011.

Places for People is one of the only behavioral health centers in St. Louis City or County with the federal designation of “Certified Clinical Behavioral Health Organization.”

The 1970s

1971 - The beginning

Dr. Hilary Sandall and Mildred Dunn, R.N., both on the staff of St. Louis State Hospital, placed the first three patients with persistent mental illness in an apartment on Davis Street in South St. Louis.

1972 - Incorporation

Places for People incorporates as the first independent living and supported housing program for people with serious mental illness in the state of Missouri and one of the select few in the country.

1975 - The Club opens

Places for People opens the Club in a donated storefront named Desiderata in South St. Louis. The Club was the first Psychosocial Rehabilitation Center in the state of Missouri.

1976 - Move to Lindell

Places for People moved to 4120 Lindell Boulevard in 1976. The organization remained on Lindell for 44 years until moving to its current home at 1001 Lynch Street in December 2020.

The 1980s

1983 - West Pine Group Home opens

West Pine facility is converted into a state-licensed Residential Care Facility—the first psychiatric group home in the St. Louis area.

The 1990s

1992 - 24/7 care

Places for People restructures its programs and services by moving to a Continuous Treatment Team approach, offering support 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

1995 - Community Alternatives begins

Community Alternatives forms as a limited liability corporation to address the needs of underserved populations that include young adults, people who are homeless and have a mental illness, people with a mental illness and HIV/AIDS, and people with both mental illness and substance use disorder.

1996 - A renewed focus on unhoused individuals

PfP focuses on serving people who are homeless and are struggling with mental illness and substance use.
PfP acquires and renovates an apartment building to provide emergency housing.

The 2000s

2001 - An integrated treatment approach

PfP adopts an integrated treatment approach to serve people diagnosed with both a severe mental illness and substance use disorder.

2004 - CJ's Place opens + CA becomes non-profit
  • Community Alternatives incorporates as a non-profit organization.
  • PfP opens CJ’s Place, a facility that provides safe, securing housing with on-site support for people multiply diagnosed with a mental illness, addiction disorders, and/or HIV/AIDS.
2006 - Two new programs at CA
  • Community Alternatives begins providing the Incredible Years program, which is an evidence-based parenting program designed to assist the parents of young children who are at-risk for developing behavioral problems, or who have children who are already exhibiting signs of behavioral problems.
  • Community Alternatives begins providing mental health services to refugees who are survivors of torture and war trauma.
2009 - Partnership with FCHC begins

Places for People partners with Family Care Health Centers as a provider of primary care services.

The 2010s

2011 - Historic merger + Places at Page opens
  • Places for People and Community Alternatives merge, the first voluntary merger of behavioral health providers in Missouri.
  • Places at Page opens, providing 23 units of independent housing with 24/7 case management support.
2012 - Health Home project begins

Places for People began participation in Missouri’s Health Home program, working with persons served to improve health outcomes, care coordination and healthy lifestyles.

2013 - West Pine Pharmacy opens

West Pine Pharmacy opens a fully-operational pharmacy at Places for People.

2015 - FCHC satellite site opens

A satellite site of Family Care Health Centers opens at Places for People to improve access to care in a project funded by Missouri Foundation for Health.

2016 - Full-time medical director
  • Places for People welcomed its first full-time Medical Director to oversee all integrated care and psychiatric services.
  • Quest Diagnostics services opens a location at Places for People
2017 - CCBHC + Transfer of properties
  • Places for People has expanded care and launched new services as the only Certified Community Behavioral Health Center in St. Louis City or County, one of only 13 across the State of Missouri, and one of less than 50 across the country. New services include outpatient therapy, substance use treatment including a suboxone clinic, and services for children, youth and their families.
  • Places for People transfers ownership and management of residences to Gateway Housing First. PFP still provides case management services at the residences.
2018 - Cornerstone of the future

Places for People purchases the former Anheuser-Busch Employees’ Credit Union at 1001 Lynch Street in Soulard with the intent of moving all programs to the building in 2020.

2020 - Joe Yancey retires

After more than four decades of service, Joe Yancey retired as Places for People CEO. Following a nationwide search, the Places for People Board of Directors announced Laura McCallister as his successor. The transition occurred in August 2020.