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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.


2020 KIDS COUNT Data Book Released

KIDSCOUNT ChildWellBeing 2020 MOThe Annie E. Casey Foundation ranks Missouri as 30th out of 50 states for child well-being, which is a decline from the last two KIDS COUNT Data Books. The latest data in this report does not show the COVID-19 impact because it is an analysis of children's well being in 2018, but it will become more evident over time. The newly released data reflects generally positive results, however, fallout from the pandemic is likely and the 2020 KIDS COUNT release will serve as a baseline for tracking how new policies impact our state's children. 

The 31st edition of the Data Booka comprehensive annual report on child well-being for the United States and every state – examines change in how the nation’s kids are doing since the first Data Book was published in 1990 by measuring indicators over time in four areas research consistently shows are important in children’s lives: economic well-being, education, health and family and community.

In 2018 — the latest year of data available — more parents were economically secure and lived without a high housing cost burden. In addition, more teens graduated from high school and delayed childbearing and children’s health insurance coverage continued to be something to celebrate.

“Working to keep kids healthy and safe has never been more essential,” said Lisa Hamilton, president and CEO of the Casey Foundation. “Having consistent, reliable data to guide our decisions will be critical as we continue seeking to ensure the wellbeing of children, families and communities throughout this challenging time and beyond.”

The 2020 Data Book shows improvement nationally on 11 indicators in the KIDS COUNT Index; three indicators stayed the same and two worsened. In Missouri 7 of 8 statewide outcomes improved in 2018 compared to 2010. All economic well-being indicators, except for child homelessness, improved over time. While children from most racial groups experienced positive changes on outcome measures over time, significant disparities continue to exist, especially between Black/African American and white children and youth. With the combination of COVID-19 and the renewed national attention on racial equality, data impacts are likely.

Click here to read the 2020 KIDS COUNT Data Book.