ST. LOUIS -- The City of St. Louis kicks off National Community Development Week by highlighting more than 30 organizations and City Departments that work to improve and enhance the lives of low- and moderate income people. The City of St. Louis is hosting several activities during the National Week, which continues through April 1, 2016, including a bus tour and awards ceremony.
"The programs and organizations we fund aim to help improve lives, empower people to rebuild their neighborhoods, advance the City's Sustainability Plan, and leverage add-on private investment," Mayor Francis Slay said. "The Community Development Block Grant and HOME dollars are vital to our communities to help ensure the delivery of more and better resources to some of our most vulnerable and challenged neighborhoods."
The City, through the Community Development Administration (CDA), continues to support the priorities identified in the PIER Plan, as well as in the St. Louis Regional Youth Violence Prevention Task Force plan, which was spearheaded by Mayor Slay and his Commission on Children Youth and Families.
CDA awarded 2016 Community Development Block Grant funding to 14 youth programs to address those priorities:
- Betty Jean Kerr People's Health Center ($3,000,000) –This funding is to expand existing services and construct a new three-story, 20,000 sq. ft. Children's and Adolescent Behavioral Health Center at 5647 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63112.
- Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri ($100,000) –The Enduring Mentoring Relationships Program matches youth to a screened and trained adult volunteer mentor to help youth succeed.
- Community Health-in Partnership Services ($16,000) –The Peer Health Educators Program trains youth as peer health educators on the topics of nutrition, teen depression, and violence prevention.
- Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry ($302,000) –The Expanded Recreation Program provides youth recreation programs in safe environments throughout the City.
- Family Courts –Juvenile Division ($150,000) –The Innovative Concept Academy strives to keep young people who have been suspended or are at risk of being expelled off of the streets and in a safe environment where they can continue their education, learn better behaviors and life skills, and become successful, contributing members of the community.
- Flance Early Learning Center ($50,000) –The Flance Early Learning Center is a comprehensive early childhood education center located on the northern border of downtown St. Louis.The Flance Early Learning Center provides comprehensive high-quality child care and education, as well as programming designed to ensure healthy physical, emotional, and social development of the entire family to help increase family self-sufficiency.
- Guardian Angel Settlement ($50,000) –The Child Development Center provides early childhood education for low-income parents with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers who might otherwise not be able to afford it.
- Harambee Youth Training Program ($100,000) –The Harambee Youth Training Program provides hands-on tuckpointing training and life skills education to youth ages 12-18.
- Haven of Grace –($50,000) –Through its maternity shelter, Haven of Grace provides a safe, nurturing and educational home for ten young pregnant mothers and their children.
- Herbert Hoover Boys &Girls Club of St. Louis ($100,000) –The Out-of-School Time Youth Development Program provides structured, high quality youth development and recreation programs after school and in the summer.
- Kingdom House ($25,000) –Kingdom House supports low-income teens who are at risk of dropping out of school through academic enrichment, life skills and job skills development activities, and social support.
- MERS/Goodwill ($100,000) –The City of St. Louis City STL Youth Jobs Program is a collaborative effort of philanthropic, civic, government, and community leaders to provide summer employment, job training, and financial literacy to area youth.
- St. Louis Artworks ($25,000) –St. Louis Art Works provides young residents of the City of St. Louis with apprenticeships with professional artists as well as job readiness, life skills, and arts education training.
- St. Louis Internship Program ($25,000) –The St. Louis Internship Program provides an eight-week training and paid summer internship in non-profit and public organizations for 30 high school students in financial need.
- Wyman Center, Inc. ($50,000) –Wyman programs support young people from low-resource environments to become self confident, compassionate and accountable;lead, plan, problem solve and communicate;be successful in school and in life;and be well prepared to act as contributing students, family members, employees and citizens.
- Youth Learning Center ($50,000) –The Resources for Learning Program takes a creative, research-based approach to substantially increase children's success in communication arts and mathematics;equip children to become powerful problem solvers and critical thinkers;and provide access to and competitive knowledge of science, technology, engineering, art, and math.
Other CDA accomplishments to be highlighted this week include:
- Healthy Home Repair (HHR): The CDA successfully completed a second year of citywide operation of HHR and helped 278 homeowners repair and improve their homes, valued at $3.1 million in the last year.
- Minor Home Repair: 449 homeowners were assisted with minor home repair projects such as accessibility improvements, energy and weatherization services, HVAC repairs, and safety and security installations.
- HUD Lead Grant Program: In the past year alone, 80 housing units were remediated for free before families ever moved in.
- Funding Initiative: Established two citywide competitive, transparent and data-driven funding rounds. Awarded $6.4 million in CDBG, HOME and NSP funding to 21 development projects, which will result more than 200 new residential units and rehabilitated 152 others. The ultimate outcome will be more than $80 million worth of investment in housing in St. Louis.
- Residential Projects Completed: 110 residential units were completed in 2015, with $4.4 million in CDA financing. The total development cost of these units was $17.7 million.
- Substantial Amendment:Identified $7,067,007 in unspent CDBG funds and constructed the Children's and Adolescent Behavioral House Center ($2,000,000), as well as funded the following programs: Emergency Shelter Rehabilitation ($500,000), Recreation Center Improvements ($500,000), Housing Production ($2,000,000) and Home Repair ($2,000,000).
- Online Grant Management System: Successfully implemented an online grant management system to streamline the process that receives about 100 applications each year.
- CDBG Funding Round: Continued to improve the non-housing funding process to ensure a competitive, transparent and goal-driven process engaging both public and elected officials early in the engagement process. Nearly 50 nonprofit organizations received CBDG funding to improve and expand their work supporting St. Louis.
- Choice Neighborhoods: Collaborated with Urban Strategies to plan the implementation of a $500,000 Housing and Urban Development grant near the City's proposed NGA site, as well as provided $100,000 in CDBG funds to supplement the $500,000 HUD planning grant.
Members of the media are invited on a bus tour of recent CDBG and HOME projects and activities, including a visit to the new St. Louis Community Credit Union - Gateway Branch, on Tuesday, March 29 at 8:30 a.m. The tour will end after lunch at Urban Eats, a recipient of CDBG funding.
An awards ceremony on Wednesday, March 30, from 6-8 p.m. at the Jewel Box in Forest Park will acknowledge outstanding work by organizations and individuals in 2015:
- Community Advocate of the Year:Mike McMillan, Urban League
- Youth Programs of the Year: (1) STL Youth Jobs, (2) St. Louis Internship Program
- Executive Director of the Year: Mary Lou Green, Operation Brightside
- Public Improvement Project of the Year: St. Louis Community Credit Union
- Municipal Program of the Year: Problem Properties Program
- Housing Development Project of the Year: Botanical Heights
- Housing Developer of the Year:Allman Builders
- Housing Program of the Year: Healthy Home Repair Staff
The City is also hosting a canned food drive throughout the week in support of the following food pantries: Hi-Pointe, Carondelet Community Betterment Federation, City Seniors, Guardian Angel and Food Outreach.Collection bins are located in City Hall and in the Abrams Building at 1520 Market Street.
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