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ARCHS Celebrates Carter Carburetor Superfund Site Cleanup with the EPA and Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis

Top Right: Ozzie Smith and Ali Wells from the Gateway PGA Reach Foundation; Bottom Right: Alderman Brandon Bosley reflects on his time as a 'club kid' with his young son in tow; Top Left: ARCHS' CEO Wendell Kimbrough congratulates Boys & Girls Club CEO Dr. Flint Fowler on the acquisition of the old Carter Carburetor site; Bottom Left: Mayor Lyda Krewson speaks in a socially distanced press conference with EPA officials and Congressmen William Lacy Clay by her sideTop Right: Ozzie Smith and Ali Wells from the Gateway PGA Reach Foundation; Bottom Right: Alderman Brandon Bosley reflects on his time as a 'club kid' with his young son in tow; Top Left: ARCHS' CEO Wendell Kimbrough congratulates Boys & Girls Club CEO Dr. Flint Fowler on the acquisition of the old Carter Carburetor site; Bottom Left: Mayor Lyda Krewson speaks in a socially distanced press conference with EPA officials and Congressmen William Lacy Clay by her side.

ARCHS' School Age Initiatives partner, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis, celebrated an accomplishment years in the making this week. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the completion of the site cleanup at the Carter Carburetor Superfund Site in North St. Louis. The property was then turned over to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis on September 16, 2020 in a ceremony featuring Boys & Girls Club CEO Dr. Flint Fowler, St. Louis City Mayor Lyda Krewson, U.S. Congressman William Lacy Clay, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, St. Louis Ward 3 Alderman Brandon Bosley, Gateway PGA Reach, and Cardinals Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith. 

"The Carter Carburetor cleanup completion announcement today is more exciting than any announcement coming out of Washington, D.C. this week," expressed EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. The former eye sore will now be transformed into a youth golf training and sports facility to bring a new hobby to North St. Louis families. Children will gain access to miniature golf, disc golf, walking courses, and golf internships.

St. Louis Ward 3 Alderman Brandon Bosley was a member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis as a child, and had a full circle moment as he spoke at the Carter Carburetor Cleanup Ceremony. "I'm excited for my son to be a club kid and open his eyes to even more opportunity than I had," he beamed with his toddler beside the podium.

After the ceremony, members of the EPA came to the ARCHS office in Midtown to talk to ARCHS' CEO Wendell Kimbrough about how important the Carter Carburetor Cleanup Project is and how ARCHS has contributed to environmental efforts in St. Louis. Click HERE to watch that interview.  

ARCHS has played a significant role in communicating with the EPA since the early 2000's. Back in 2007, the EPA granted ARCHS $100,000 to help area residents and businesses learn how to safely dispose hazardous waste. The conversation quickly led to how important the Carter Carburetor Cleanup Project is to create a healthier life for families living in the area. In 2010, ARCHS CEO Wendell Kimbrough met with EPA staff multiple times to discuss the need for environmental attention in St. Louis. 

Left: ARCHS' CEO Wendell Kimbrough speaks with EPA Region 7 Administrator Karl Brooks in 2010. Right: Kimbrough speaks with EPA Region 7 Administrator Jim Gulliford at 2020 Carter Carburetor Cleanup Ceremony.
Left: ARCHS' CEO Wendell Kimbrough speaks with EPA Region 7 Administrator Karl Brooks in 2010. Right: Kimbrough speaks with EPA Region 7 Administrator Jim Gulliford at 2020 Carter Carburetor Cleanup Ceremony.

Mr. Kimbrough's voice, along with many others, finally turned to action as the EPA began the $35 million site cleanup in 2013. The project was deemed critical for completion in 2017, and finally completed in 2020. The timeline below shows what led to Carter Carburetor becoming a priority for major stakeholders and how long an effort to clean an EPA Superfund Site takes.
Carter Carburetor Cleanup Timeline Graphic

Governor Parson Announces ARCHS' Violence De-escalation Grant with the Urban League

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On September 9th, Missouri Governor Mike Parson announced that ARCHS will be awarding a $900,500.00 grant from the Missouri Department of Social Services to the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis. 

The grant will support the Urban League's Save Our Streets program, which will provide anti-crime activities to support under-resourced individuals and impoverished communities disproportionally impacted by generational trauma and violence. Services will include neighborhood outreach, real-time conflict de-escalation, and expansive case management for educational/health/social/workforce support services. The program will focus on the Jeff-Vander-Lou, Kingsway East, and Hyde Park neighborhoods. 

"The daily headlines of violence call for thoughtful and urgent action to help de-escalate conflict," says Wendell E. Kimbrough, ARCHS' Chief Executive Officer. "St. Louis needs to build long-lasting systems and infrastructures that lead to meaningful change. Fortunately, St. Louis has established organizations such as the Urban League to foster systemic changes in Neighborhoods suffering from physical and emotional trauma."

The Save Our Streets program announcement garnered media coverage across the Show Me State through NPR, St. Louis Post Dispatch, FOX 2/KPLR 11, United Press International, Missouri Net, Missouri Public News Service, KMOV, KSDK, Channel 41 Kansas City, and you can watch the full press conference on ARCHS' YouTube Channel.

Last month, ARCHS also announced the creation of the Neighborhood Healing Network (NHN) to provide trauma-informed support services to crime victims and victimized communities through five organizations in St. Louis, including the Urban league. NHN provides public education on the impact of crime and violence.

ARCHS Provides Funding and Expertise to Summer Youth Programs During COVID-19

Summer 2020 Programs
In March, thousands of children in the St. Louis region were sent home from school due to COVID-19's unpredictability. This left many without caring and supportive adults, hands-on activities, hot meals, and reliable technology to complete homework. Once health officials were able to provide reopening guidelines for different work and childcare environments in May, ARCHS partners were able to develop current programming to adhere to those guidelines.

ARCHS utilized $135,602 to help school-age partners this summer to connect children with essential educational programming. Funding also helped partners purchase cleaning supplies, PPE, and technology for students participating. Here are the partners who launched summer programming for children in grades K-12:

Adams Park Boys and Girls Club provided in-person programming this summer with STEM activities, exercises to understand entrepreneurship, and groups to develop social and emotional skills. Students also had the opportunity to participate in community service projects and find joy in helping others. Feedback from kids remained pretty consistent across the board: They did not enjoy social distancing, but enjoyed being able to make friends and interact with kids other than their siblings.

Gene Slay's Girls and Boys Club facilitated in-person programming this summer. Among the many activities was a peace parade through Soulard to promote social justice, which garnered local media attention

Horizons/SPROG provided a virtual summer experience that allowed students to broaden their horizons with nutrition and fitness, life skills, new cultural exeriences, and engaging with parents to contribute to their child's success.

Midtown Community Services offered virtual summer programming via Zoom to its students. Children were entertained by a band, and even had the opportunity to help out offline in the Midtown Community Garden (at a safe social distance, of course!)

Provident offered virtual programming for students in the Jennings School District at Woodland Elementary and Fairview Primary and Intermediate Schools. 

Unleashing Potential provided hands-on, engaging virtual programming to 18 children during a six-week program. Morning sessions were for students in grades 1-2 and afternoon sessions were for students in grades 3-5. Kids learned about local and famous inventors, key science concepts, and career opportunities. They also practiced problem solving as they investigated the principles of flight, how to create their own games, equipment and sports facilities, as well as how to protect the ecosystem.

Wesley House offered both in-person and virtual programming for students surrounding the arts, sports, and STEM activities.

This fall, ARCHS will assist school-age partners in providing before and after school programming options to keep students safe and engaged, as many districts are starting virtually.

ARCHS Launches Neighborhood Healing Network

This week, a special session started in Missouri's capitol to discuss solutions to violent crimes across the state. ARCHS is one of many organizations concerned about the rise in gun violence in the City of St. Louis. ARCHS was invited to sit down with Governor Mike Parson in the fall of 2019 to strategize programming to assist crime victims and the communities they live in. Less than one year after the sit-down with the governor, the Neighborhood Healing Network is almost set to begin serving St. Louisans.

Like last summer, St. Louis news headlines show a large number of children shot and killed. According to St. Louis Metropolitan Police Reports, the number of homicides reported in the city in 2020 could potentially exceed last year. It's not just the victim affected when a violent crime takes place, it takes a toll on the behavioral, mental, and physical health of the entire neighborhood.

That's why ARCHS is excited to launch the Neighborhood Healing Network in August 2020. The Missouri Department of Social Services has awarded a $1 million grant to ARCHS to oversee the Neighborhood Healing Network through five different non-profit hubs including Better Family Life, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis, Fathers & Families Support Center, Mission: St. Louis, and the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis. The $1 million grant comes from the federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA).

The unique strategy behind the Neighborhood Healing Network is to address both individual crime victims and victimized communities. When someone utilizes services at one of the five non-profit hubs, staff will identify if they have been impacted by trauma and provide participants with resources available to overcome barriers to education and employment, creating healthier families in the long run.

The five well-known St. Louis organizations were chosen as hubs due to their locations across St. Louis City and expertise to carry out Neighborhood Healing Network Services. The hubs will also work with Alive & Well Communities and Crime Victim Center to organize educational programming for the public about abuse, victim rights, laws, violence, and available trauma-informed care.

Neighborhood Healing Network hubs are currently in the process of hiring and training staff. The Network's services will officially begin on August 24, 2020.

ARCHS' role in all of this is to help each hub carry out services. ARCHS staff created the Neighborhood Healing Network program structure and will provide hands-on assistance with program and fiscal management, marketing and communications, data collection, reporting, and evaluation.

By providing trauma-informed care and services, the Neighborhood Healing Network will work to improve educational, economic, and health outcomes for individuals and communities. 

Click HERE to watch ARCHS' press conference announcing the launch. 

Click HERE to hear from the five hub leaders on what they're looking forward to with the launch. 

Click HERE to follow updates on Facebook @STL Neighborhood Healing Network.

ARCHS' COVID-19 Response

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ARCHS staff started working from home on March 17, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We quickly adapted to virtual site visits, Zoom webinars, intensive communication through newsletters, and tracking data on Apricot 360 for two and a half months until the office reopened on June 1st. 

Between March and June, ARCHS provided more than 2,700 hours of strategic technical assistance to support funded partners and internal operations, and it resulted in our partners accomplishing great things for St. Louis' youth, families, and workforce. Here are just a few of those stories. More stories are told in our COVID-19 Response video.

Annie Malone Children and Family Services connected families without technology to case managers to ensure infants and children had a safe living environment, which was especially important with the sharp decline in calls to Missouri's Child Abuse & Neglect Hotline.

Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis staff became amateur film producers to publish virtual programming including cooking tutorials, exercise routines, poetry exercises, and STEM projects.

Bridging Families to Communities and Beyond continued to utilize social distancing to teach classes and administer coursework to help clients kickstart careers in healthcare, construction, and urban agriculture. 

Fathers & Families Support Center held virtual classes so mothers and fathers could build positive relationships with their children and lead productive lives.

Kids Vision for Life set up camp at the St. Louis Public Schools Headquarters to hand out more than 180 pairs of glasses so eyesight wasn't another obstacle in remote learning. 

Midtown Community Services was able to secure car seats for expectant mothers and diapers for dozens of families.

The ARCHS office in the Humboldt Building will look different for a while, but ARCHS' dedication to funded partners remains the same. Click here to watch the full ARCHS COVID-19 Response Video.