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Group Of More Than 125 Local Businesses Contribute $900K To St. Louis Public Safety

The Civic Progress and the Regional Business Council's companies represent more than 125 of the region’s leading businesses.

May 16, 2018 - 4:07 pm
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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Today, members of Civic Progress and the Regional Business Council, whose companies represent more than 125 of the region’s leading businesses, announced $900,000 in new funding for community organizations working to improve public safety in the region. This focused effort is the product of a partnership of St. Louis’ public safety officials, business leaders and community organizations to take a comprehensive approach in addressing public safety in St. Louis.

Organizations receiving funding today include $150,000 for the Urban League for the Save Our Sons program, $200,000 for STL Youth Jobs, and $100,000 for the group Better Family Life, as well as donations to The Little Bit Foundation and the North Side Community School. This funding will primarily focus on an area of north St. Louis City bordered by Vandeventer Avenue, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Goodfellow Boulevard and West Florissant Avenue. The programs were selected because of their proven track record of positive results and the need to focus them on an area of St. Louis that is experiencing some of the highest rates of violent crime.

The Urban League’s Save Our Sons program targets at-risk, young African-American men. The program provides them with post-secondary education, job training career skills and work ethic. The Better Family Life Neighborhood Alliance program places professional outreach workers and case managers in positions to serve individuals and families residing in neighborhoods under social duress. STL Youth Jobs identifies at-risk high school students in North and South St. Louis City, teaches financial and job skills, and then connects them to summer employment in high-growth industries. The Little Bit Foundation serves as a convener of school district programs and services that address students' basic physical and emotional needs. North Side Community School is a charter school on North Euclid Avenue that serves families in the area of focus.

Civic Progress and the Regional Business Council collaborated with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department in the development of a comprehensive public safety plan focused on three major elements: Prevention, Intervention and Enforcement. Over the past three years, Civic Progress and the Regional Business Council have supported community organizations that are focused on improving public safety and addressing urgent needs of at-risk youth, their families and neighborhoods.

“We are pleased to contribute resources that will help our community improve public safety. This is a priority issue for St. Louis. The organizations we are funding today are doing great work to support young people, their families, schools and neighborhoods,” said Suzanne Sitherwood, president of Civic Progress and CEO of Spire.

“In addition to the financial resources we are announcing today, RBC member companies recently mobilized 12 contractors and launched a massive Clean Sweep program in these neighborhoods. We are contributing personnel and capacity building through our Social Venture Partners program,” said John Stupp, chairman of the Regional Business Council and president and CEO of Stupp Brothers Inc.

“The preventative approach these programs take, working with our young people growing up in poverty, and providing them with the employment and economic support they need, is absolutely critical to improving our communities,” said St. Louis City’s Public Safety Director Judge Jimmie Edwards. He added, “Prevention, intervention and enforcement make up our comprehensive plan to make St. Louis safer. We salute the business community for partnering with us and making public safety a priority.”

“I want to thank Civic Progress and the Regional Business Council for their tireless and generous efforts to bring our community together and focus resources on a priority problem. What we are celebrating today is the kind of partnership and collaboration that St. Louis needs a lot more of. By equipping young people with the skills, opportunities and support they need to succeed, we will see new generations of St. Louisans flourish,” said St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson.

“So long as one area is unsafe, or lacks economic opportunities, or decent schools, the region cannot reach its true potential,” St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger said. “I want to thank the members of Civic Progress and the Regional Business Council for taking a leadership role in this initiative. Your dedication is a key to ensuring a prosperous future for all area residents.”

Last week, the Regional Business Council announced that 12 area construction companies and members of the RBC are conducting a four-weekend “Clean Sweep” program in North City neighborhoods this summer in collaboration with Better Family Life.

Background:

Civic Progress is an organization comprising the CEOs and business heads from more than 30 of the St. Louis region’s leading employers who seek to leverage public and private resources to improve the region and better connect St. Louis with the global community. Since its founding in 1953, Civic Progress has supported many significant projects including the recent transformation of the Gateway Arch grounds.

The Regional Business Council, founded in 2000, is a consortium of 100 presidents and chief executive officers of mid- to large-sized companies in St. Louis. These companies are leaders in the region, employing over 120,000 people and generating over $65 billion in revenue annually. In addition to supporting the Clean Sweep efforts, the mission of the RBC is to unite and engage members to act on high-impact business, civic and philanthropic affairs for the betterment of the St. Louis region.