Community Response is a 501c3 nonprofit agency whose mission is to "Develop and implement innovative solutions to social and public health issues that threaten the physical and/or mental health of underserved children, families and communities". Incorporated in 2000. Community Response was awarded its first contract with the Department of Social Services, Children’s Division in March 2001. Our primary program was our Independent Living Program, which provided housing and support services to young adults, ages 18-21, transitioning from Missouri foster care. The goal of our Independent Living Program was to provide foster youth with the knowledge, skills and supports necessary to become independent and productive members of our community. From 2002 through May 2017, we armed approximately 400 foster youth with self-sufficiency and life skills through our Independent Living program. In May 2017, we transitioned to a permanent housing model, and included other underserved groups, including military veterans, low and moderate income families and persons with a history of housing instability. Our “Fostering Homeownership” program stabilizes communities by rehabilitating vacant and abandoned homes, and providing generational renters with the supports needed to purchase these fully remodeled and energy efficient homes, and become homeowners. Community Response also provides social/public health programming and mental health counseling/agency training aimed at improving the lives of all Saint Louisans.
KEY PROGRAMS & SERVICES
Addressing personal and community trauma, and social and emotional health, through individual, couples and family counseling and group workshops, is an integral part of our program mission. Led by Founding Executive Director, Barbara McGhee, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Community Response has secured mental health program contracts with the Saint Louis City’s Circuit Attorney’s Office, Better Family Life Incorporated and Saint Louis City Juvenile Courts. These contracts allow Community Response staff and contractors to provide quality mental health counseling and staff development in order to empower individuals to overcome mental health obstacles and to assist social service staff to better meet the needs of their customers.
Social & Public
Community Response continues to find innovative ways to address existing community challenges. Social and public health programming allows us to creatively and innovative respond to the needs of the Saint Louis Community. In the process of implementing social and public health programs, we seek opportunities to partner with other agencies in order to best meet the needs of our neighbors. Our “Project Connect” program is an example of our innovation in practice. “Project Connect” provides mental health counseling and roundtrip transportation to select Missouri prisons, for children of incarcerated parents and their caregivers. Project Connect addresses the social and emotional needs experienced by children of incarcerated parents, while keeping children connected with their parents, when appropriate.
In 2020, Community Response was awarded a Saint Louis Flourish grant, to address infant mortality in the Black community. The program, named “A Better Living Space” provided parenting education workshops, a home health and safety visit and funding for safety items for children three year of age and under.
Our agency's Founding Executive Director holds graduate degrees in Social Work and Public Health and created an agency mission that recognizes the correlation between social conditions, physical and mental health, and quality of life. Our programs guide our agency's mission and vision.
The mission of our “Fostering Homeownership” program is to promote homeownership for low and moderate income families and to stabilize communities, through rehabilitating vacant and abandoned properties. We believe that housing stability is the foundation for goal attainment. When our neighbors have safe and decent housing, they are able to focus on the tasks needed to learn, build and grow. We are proud to be able to transform the lives of families through homeownership.