City of St. Louis Expands Neighborhood Alliance to Reduce Crime

Better Family Life to Help Deliver Direct Resources

September 14, 2015 | 4 min reading time
better family life

Update 9-14-2015

In March, at Mayor Francis Slay's direction, the City has approved a $30,000 increase from Prop S funding, allotting a total of $55,000 for Better Family Life to expand the Neighborhood Alliance Model, a neighborhood-centered program designed to provide residents with direct access to resource providers that are able to address the immediate needs of each member of the household, such as: Employment, education, mentoring, utility assistance, drug treatment, mental health, legal assistance, and access to food and prenatal care.

Recognizing gun violence as a public health crisis, the City's Health Department today contributed an additional $40,000 to Better Family Life, and the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department secured $20,000 from asset forfeiture money to give to Better Family Life for outreach services.

"This is another arm of our hot spot initiative," said Mayor Slay. "First, we add officers to address increasing crime in the neighborhoods that need it most. Then, we follow up with a barrage of other City services, such as board-up, refuse, and forestry crews. The partnership we've developed with Better Family Life will now add another layer of support to the families in these specific neighborhoods."

"I put the integrity of the St. Louis City Police Department behind the Neighborhood Alliance outreach model," said Chief Sam Dotson, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. "The issues we face in our more challenged neighborhoods begin in families, then, impact the neighborhood. Through aggressive outreach, resource delivery, and case management, we can improve public safety and make St. Louis a better place to live, work and play."

Active in portions of three of the City's more challenged neighborhoods, this innovative model has shown early signs of success in improving the quality of life and reducing crime. Better Family Life has spent two years targeting the most dangerous blocks of three specific neighborhoods as part of the Neighborhood Alliance model pilot program: Penrose, Hamilton Heights, and Academy. Each of the specific portions within these neighborhoods have seen promising decreases in gun crimes since Better Family Life started its outreach:
  • Penrose experienced a 31% decrease in gun crimes and a 44% drop in homicides;
  • Hamilton Heights saw a 35% decrease in gun crimes and a 25% drop in homicides;
  • Academy had a 30% decrease in gun crimes and a 50% drop in homicides.

"Police can arrest the troublemakers and make neighborhoods safer by getting them off the streets, but our goal is to prevent those people from causing trouble in the first place and then to help get the people who are back on the right track when they return to their neighborhoods," said James Clark, vice-president, community outreach, Better Family Life. "We're proving that a sustained neighborhood presence that includes resource delivery helps confront the root causes of crime and violence in the St. Louis Metropolitan Area."

Better Family Life and the SLMPD will work together to identify neighborhoods most in need of these specific resources. Trained outreach workers and case managers then provide the necessary follow-up to ensure that key services are delivered and that individuals are taking advantage of the resources offered.

First Published 3-19-2015


The City of St. Louis is increasing funding to Better Family Life to deliver targeted resources to neighborhoods with the greatest amount of crime. The Neighborhood Alliance outreach model connects families and households to more than 65 different resource providers to help stabilize individuals and families, and in turn, neighborhoods. 

At Mayor Francis Slay's direction, the City has approved a $30,000 increase from Prop S funding, allotting a total of $55,000 for Better Family Life to expand the Neighborhood Alliance Model, a neighborhood-centered program designed to provide residents with direct access to resource providers that are able to address the immediate needs of each member of the household, such as: Employment, education, mentoring, utility assistance, drug treatment, mental health, legal assistance, and access to food and prenatal care. 

"This is another arm of our hot spot initiative," said Mayor Slay. "First, we add officers to address increasing crime in the neighborhoods that need it most. Then, we follow up with a barrage of other City services, such as board-up, refuse, and forestry crews. The partnership we've developed with Better Family Life will now add another layer of support to the families in these specific neighborhoods."

"I put the integrity of the St. Louis City Police Department behind the Neighborhood Alliance outreach model," said Chief Sam Dotson, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. "The issues we face in our more challenged neighborhoods begin in families, then, impact the neighborhood. Through aggressive outreach, resource delivery, and case management, we can improve public safety and make St. Louis a better place to live, work and play."

Active in portions of three of the City's more challenged neighborhoods, this innovative model has shown early signs of success in improving the quality of life and reducing crime. Better Family Life has spent two years targeting the most dangerous blocks of three specific neighborhoods as part of the Neighborhood Alliance model pilot program: Penrose, Hamilton Heights, and Academy. Each of the specific portions within these neighborhoods have seen promising decreases in gun crimes since Better Family Life started its outreach:
  • Penrose experienced a 31% decrease in gun crimes and a 44% drop in homicides;
  • Hamilton Heights saw a 35% decrease in gun crimes and a 25% drop in homicides;
  • Academy had a 30% decrease in gun crimes and a 50% drop in homicides.

"Police can arrest the troublemakers and make neighborhoods safer by getting them off the streets, but our goal is to prevent those people from causing trouble in the first place and then to help get the people who are back on the right track when they return to their neighborhoods," said James Clark, vice-president, community outreach, Better Family Life. "We're proving that a sustained neighborhood presence that includes resource delivery helps confront the root causes of crime and violence in the St. Louis Metropolitan Area."

Better Family Life and the SLMPD will work together to identify neighborhoods most in need of these specific resources. Trained outreach workers and case managers then provide the necessary follow-up to ensure that key services are delivered and that individuals are taking advantage of the resources offered.
  • Department:
    Office of the Mayor
  • Topic:
    Neighborhoods
    Police

Related Stories

Was this page helpful?      



Comments are helpful!
500 character limit

Feedback is anonymous.