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April 2010 Newsletter
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ARCHS NAMED 2010 HEALTH ADVOCACY ORGANIZATION OF THE YEAR BY THE ST. LOUIS AMERICAN FOUNDATION


ARCHS has been named the "2010 Health Advocacy Organization of the Year" by the St. Louis American Foundation.

ARCHS was honored at an April 24 ceremony. ARCHS' Chief Executive Officer Wendell E. Kimbrough (left) and ARCHS' Board Chair and President of Crown Vision Center Matt Matthews (right) proudly accepted the award on behalf of ARCHS' more than 400 community partners.


AWARD CEREMONY PHOTOS

ST. LOUIS AMERICAN STORY

NEW ARCHS' VIDEO
ARCHS AND WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY:
FAMILY SUPPORTIVE RESEARCH



ABOVE: Washington University Professor and Parent Child Interaction Therapy Principal Investigator Dr. Brett Drake.

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ARCHS is well known for its hands-on partnerships that produce visible results that make a positive impact on Greater St. Louis. However, ARCHS also has a large stake in dynamic behind-the-scenes work with partners who work to produce results that lead to those hands-on projects.

ARCHS has partnered with Washington University in St. Louis for two years to evaluate two area parent training courses - Parenting Wisely (PW) and Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT). Both are interventions supported by evidence that can alleviate the factors that trigger child abuse and prevent future child neglect.

ARCHS manages the three-year, $111,000 grant from the State of Missouri's Department of Social Services that funds this specific Washington University research.

Results of the evaluations will be used to determine future practices and where to distribute state funding appropriately. Plus the results of these evaluations may prove applicable to other populations after evaluating the results.

The Family Resource Center does all the client contact with families and performs the training. Results are given to Washington University to generate reports based on the findings. At this point, 107 families have begun the PCIT and over 200 parents have taken part of PW.

“What we are trying to do is track the people who take the classes, and then see how they are doing,” said Dr. Brett Drake, principal investigator. “There are not enough people who have completed the classes yet to say we have results, but there are enough to see positive trends. But we still want more people because it shows classes caused the the change, rather than it being just luck.”

The PCIT program involves therapists interacting with caregivers and their children over the course of several months of treatment. Once all families have completed the program, a matched sample will be constructed to determine if participants in this program differ from the general population in rates of subsequent child maltreatment reports.

The PW program is an interactive computer-based program that shows parents skills and ways to improve relationships to decrease conflicts with their children. Parents are given a skills test before and after, and initial analysis shows a significant improvement in parenting knowledge for how to care for their children.

Dr. Drake said for families in the programs from start to finish, generally there is less stress at the end, and also fewer behavior problems and better overall parent functioning.

“The kids are better, and the parents are better parents than when they had gotten there,” Dr. Drake said. “They are learning something."

Final data collection is scheduled to be finished in the coming months.

ARCHS also partners with Washington University on other research projects. Watch for updates in future newsletters.

HUMANITRI IN IT FOR THE LONG HAUL


ABOVE: Humanitri bus riders get ready for their trip to a state prison to visit their son, who will be released later this year. The couple hopes by regularly visiting their son, the transition back into their family will be easier. ARCHS partners with Humanitri on prisoner reentry issues and ARCHS' LRM provides the organization with fiscal management services.

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The city of St. Louis was still asleep as the sun broke the horizon of a muggy and early April 10 morning. Not a vehicle or person was in sight down Russell Boulevard, except for a Humanitri bus waiting to depart to a state prison. The passengers eagerly waiting inside did not care that it was 6:15 in the morning, or that they had to start their weekend earlier than most. They were happy to be on their way to see their family members who are in prison.

“I have two sons locked up. I am the only one who ever goes to see them,” said one woman, as she excitedly tapped her foot in anticipation. “One comes out next year, and the other comes out in less than two. I let them know I love them, and I am starting to see positive changes because one just got his G.E.D. and wants to go to school when he gets out.”

Humanitri’s new two-year pilot program, “Next Steps Home,” will continue to serve inmates and their families 12 to 18 months after release.

Partnerships with ARCHS, Gannett Foundation, Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis and Lutheran Church Missouri Synod collectively provide $413,250 for transportation, for visitation, chaplaincy, housing, case management, employment, education, addiction, mental health issues and other services.

Studies show that former inmates who successfully reintegrate into society for at least three years have significantly reduced rates of returning to prison. Inmates with regular visitation with loved ones while incarcerated also show reduced recidivism rates.

“It keeps the families connected and the chances they return to prison down. Those in prison are broken down, and their families are the only lifeline that they have,” said Marcia West, Humanitri transportation coordinator. “To have a loved one in their lives is important, so it is important we get them there to make sure they stay motivated for what they have on the outside.”

ARCHS’ role provides offenders with pre-release mentoring activities and family reunification support services, including transportation to the state prisons in Vandalia and Pacific via Humanitri. ARCHS was recently awarded $265,944 from the U.S. Dept. of Justice via Second Chance Act funding for a new mentoring program in conjunction with the Missouri Deparatment of Corrections. ARCHS is one of the first organizations in America to receive Second Chance Act funds, and the only organization in Missouri to do so.

Humanitri is able to focus its valuable time and energy on improving the lives of area residents, by letting ARCHS’ Leveraged Resources Management (LRM) handle the financial side of its business.

“Our partnership with LRM brings Humanitri more financial expertise than we’ve ever had in-house, and at a fraction of the cost,” said Robert Otrembiak, Executive Director of Humanitri.

LRM is a full-service provider of financial services for 20 area not-for-profit organizations. LRM currently manages $30 million in regional funding.

ARCHS' LRM CLIENTS
ARCHS MEET THE FUNDER: THE LUTHERAN FOUNDATION OF ST. LOUIS


ABOVE:
Ann L. Vasquez, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis. The Foundation is one of ARCHS' public, private and faith-based funding partners.

Perhaps Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis’ commitment to helping the ex-offender population can best be summed up by the Hebrews Scripture it displays on its web site: “Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.”

Or, maybe it is the Foundation’s beliefs combined with a $12,000 grant it awarded to ARCHS to help support the recently expanded St. Louis Alliance for Reentry (STAR). The grant provides strategic management support to STAR as it connects reentry individuals to agencies working in coordination to strengthen the delivery of ex-offender services.

“We are interested in the church being brought into the lives of hurting people, and we include prisoners in those who are hurting,” said Ann Vasquez, President and Chief Executive Officer. “In general, the faith community has historically and still continues to be that welcoming and second chance support foundation to say we still love and care about you.”

Vasquez said Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis developed a strategic plan for the next several years, and in that plan decided to use funds towards reentry causes because it is not an area that many organizations want to become involved in.

“It seemed like a good mission fit for us. We didn’t say we want recidivism brought down a certain amount, but we work with the organizations who work with the people to ultimately lower recidivism,” Vasquez said.

As it looked to award groups who can most benefit ex-offenders and the community, the Foundation believed STAR’s efforts could reduce recidivism, and wanted to assist with the process.

“We like to see organizations work collaboratively,” Vasquez said. “ARCHS is an important partner in this process because ARCHS is working collaboratively with all of the other partners, and the Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis likes to fund things when work is done together.”

In addition to reentry, the Foundation is active in Lutheran education, congregation outreach, Christian volunteerism and children’s mental health. The Foundation  has also partnered with ARCHS to provide funding for ASAP.

ARCHS' REENTRY PARTNERSHIPS

ST. LOUIS ALLIANCE FOR REENTRY
ARCHS' EMPLOYER PARTNERS RECOGNIZED


ABOVE: From left, ARCHS' Board Member Dr. Charles Pearson, ARCHS' Chief Executive Officer Wendell E. Kimbrough, National Transitional Jobs Network Associate Director Melissa Young and Board Member William Siedhoff attended the April lunch.

ARCHS held a luncheon at the Holiday Inn Select downtown to recognize more than 140 of its area employer partners.

Guests heard updates about ARCHS' use of an innovative "Transitional Jobs" partnership model that places people in job training that leads to full-time jobs and career preparation for the long haul. The keynote speaker was Melissa Young, Associate Director of the National  Transitional Jobs Network.

Through the state's $3.3 million investment via ARCHS, Missouri reduced its TANF benefits paid by $872,000, added new income to the state economy to the tune of $979,000 and free training provided by area employers totaled $2.2 million. All for a total return on the state's investment of $4.5 million.

NEW: ARCHS' EMPLOYER PARTNER VIDEO

EMPLOYER LUNCH PHOTOS

ARCHS' EMPLOYER PARTNERSHIPS


ARCHS' NEW EMPLOYER PARTNERS


ABOVE: An employee who was matched with K Bakes through ARCHS' Employer Partnerships does some of her daily work, which includes making pastries and desserts for some of St. Louis' most notable restaurants.

ARCHS is pleased to announce the Missouri History Museum, K Bakes and YWCA as new employer partners. More than 60 area employers are partnering with ARCHS to provide life skills and job training services that are leading to long-term employment opportunities for TANF recipients.

By moving from welfare to work, former TANF recipients are adding more than $11,000 to their annual income - making a positive impact on the regional economy. This also helps the state of Missouri, which is facing tough budget cuts.

ARCHS' EMPLOYER PARTNERSHIPS
JACKIE JOYNER-KERSEE MAKES ALL STAR VISIT


ARCHS was pleased to welcome another local All-Star to one of our community partnerships, as top women's athlete Jackie Joyner-Kersee visited the ASAP after school program at Langston Middle School (operated by Wyman). She participated in various activities and exercises with the students.

Before Joyner-Kersee arrived, students took time to read and work on Junior Achievement projects. The students have spent the last few weeks creating a product and business plan on how to implement its sale.

JACKIE JOYNER-KERSEE AT LANGSTON PHOTOS

ARCHS' ALL-STARS


NEW ASAP VIDEO
GREEN-FOCUSED LIFESTYLES PROMOTED BY ARCHS'
U.S. EPA ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE GRANT


Promoting green-focused living and reducing the impact of toxics in a targeted area of North St. Louis City was the goal of a ARCHS' three-year U.S. EPA environmental justice grant. ARCHS completed its formal grant activity by hosting a Tox-Away Day on Saturday, April 24. ARCHS' Vice President of Partnerships Les Johnson (shown above) joined ARCHS and other area organizations to collect several tons of items ranging from paint and car batteries to household cleaners and yard chemicals.

ARCHS will report the outcomes of its partnership at a special U.S. EPA event being held in St. Louis in May. Watch future newsletters for updates.

2010 TOX-AWAY DAY PHOTOS

ARCHS' U.S. EPA PARTNERSHIP

LEARNING LIFE LESSONS A SLAM DUNK


ABOVE: St. Louis City Nights Adult Basketball League participants take to the court for some hoops action, and also take to the classroom for some life lessons on financial literacy.

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North City resident Kenny Williams and his team had just posted another victory in the St. Louis Nights Adult Basketball League, and the group of young men was all smiles as they walked off the court. Their successful efforts did not end on the basketball court though, because all were headed to a life skills learning class right after to continue in their winning ways.

The league is a partnership between ARCHS, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, St. Louis Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry and Fathers' Support Center. Over 240 men between the ages of 18-35 form 10 teams for an 11-week basketball league.

ARCHS was selected by the City of St. Louis to manage the partnership via a competitive Request for Proposal (RFP) process.

The participants are also required to take 10 life skills classes coordinated by Fathers' Support Center, which teach the young men about finances, building credit, nutrition, employment and housing.

“It keeps us out of trouble because it gives us something to do,” Williams said. “It benefits the whole community as well because the police officers are out here with us, and in this neighborhood you don’t see the police and young men interacting like this on such a positive note.”

Police officers claim the league’s biggest benefit is allowing them the chance to get to know one another, and that would not be possible under normal circumstances. The police are are happy not only to have the combination of fun and learning, but also that there are 240 young men who participate.

“This is a great program because guys love to play basketball, but this also allows them to do it in a safe and competitive environment. They all know there are a lot of police here so they don’t have to worry about any altercations,” said Lt. Shawn Dace. “A lot of these guys have done time in prison, but they are learning something while being here. We have really bonded with these guys.”

Kristin Schell (shown above right), a Credit Building Manager at Justine Peterson, recently taught a financial literacy class for the young men. She said most are always engaged, and very interested in learning the life skills they need to either improve their lives or keep it sustained.

“Credit is important to everyone here because it not only helps you with financial success, but also your housing, employment, if you can get a house and a lot more,” Schell said. “Learning how to handle your credit positively can affect everyone here.”

North St. Louis resident Nico Reed said while he loves to come and play basketball, he takes a lot home every time from the classes.

“They are very helpful, Reed said. “They have changed the way I look at things, how I eat, take care of myself and even the way I live. And it’s all for the better.”

ARCHS' WEEK OF THE YOUNG CHILD


ARCHS was pleased to co-sponsor St. Louis' annual "Week of the Young Child" events at Harris-Stowe State University. The fun-themed "Learning Through Play" week was held April 11-17, and promotes public awareness to issues and concerns regarding young children and how to care for them in positive settings.

The highlight of the week were the events at the Harris-Stowe University Quad, and featured outdoor make-and-take activities, bring your parent to school day, hat day, healthy snacks and children's outdoor play equipment.

ARCHS currently supports more than 80 area child care centers with a strong focus on quality, access and staff professional development.

WEEK OF THE YOUNG CHILD PHOTOS

STORY IN ST. LOUIS AMERICAN

ARCHS' PRE-K PARTNERSHIPS
LRM CLIENT NEWS AND EVENTS


While ARCHS' Leveraged Resources Management (LRM) handles their finances, LRM's clients are out making things happen in the community.

LRM Client News and Events:
SHARE SOME FACE TIME WITH ARCHS' PARTNERS


ARCHS, ASAP and STAR's Facebook Pages are filled with additional stories and pictures. Please become a fan of these important community partnerships.

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LET'S PARTNER: Do you have a great partnership idea for the greater good of Greater St. Louis? Let us know.

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