The St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment (SLATE) has selected Better Family Life, Employment Connection, and MERS/Missouri Goodwill Industries to deliver services under the You Only Live Once (YOLO) STL Youth Diversion program. YOLO was funded by a U.S. Department of Labor Face Forward grant in July 2013 to serve more than 100 juveniles.
These three vendors were selected through a request for proposal process overseen by SLATE and its Youth Advisory Council. Each vendor will provide case management, job placement and wraparound supportive services to residents of the City of St. Louis between the ages of 16 and 24 who have touched the juvenile justice system. A special Youth Advisory Board consisting of Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce, Judge David Mason, Police Chief Sam Dotson and SLATE Executive Director Michael K. Holmes has been convened to provide strategic oversight and to ensure cross-agency collaboration.
"The partners that have been selected to serve at-risk City youth bring decades of devoted service and compassionate care to the YOLO program," said Mayor Francis Slay. "This effort will reach out to disadvantaged young men and women and support them in positive life choices going forward."
SLATE's Youth Services Department also recently received funding from the U.S. Department of Justice's Second Chance Act. There will be an RFP to fund a youth reentry program with this grant. In addition, there will be two legal provider RFPs to provide legal services and education for all participants. These RFPs will take place in the coming weeks.
Missouri State University will be conducting research and evaluation duties for both programs.
St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment