Assisting the less fortunate and working poor is a goal of the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis. The non-profit organization offers those residents from the city and county a number of resources and assistance programs. If the center can’t help you or your family meet your needs, then referrals may be available to other federal government or state or Missouri benefits. They also provide covered across state lines in St. Clair Illinois.
The agency is a HUD-Certified Housing Counseling Center. The number and type of programs offered by the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis include counseling and training to address housing needs. Clients can get help with understanding such as the home-buying process, solutions to missed mortgage or rent payments and foreclosure prevention.
Renters and tenants can access rent help or advice on preventing eviction. Or learn about fair housing and solving other housing issues. This program is available to low-income residents in the St. Louis metro region that are interested. Clients will need to be involved in taking part in the pre- and post-home purchase issues, going over alternatives to foreclosure, and addressing unfair or discriminatory housing practices.
The Urban League is a member of the St. Louis Area Food Bank and Operation Food Search. This will allow the League to purchase food and groceries at little or no cost through many of the area’s organizations. They then give these items and provide them for distribution to families in need through several free Food Pantries in the League’s St. Louis City, St. Louis County and St. Clair County offices.
Basic needs, such as clothing assistance, is available from their “closet”. They operate in both the St. Louis County and St. Clair County Outreach Centers. Assistance is available for all members of a family, and also features work and school appropriate and job-seeking clothing.
The Urban League, working with other charities, serves thousands of low-income families through the United Way/Post-Dispatch 100 Neediest Case Programs. The League also provides assistance to hundreds of families and children during the holiday season. During Christmas or Thanksgiving, clients may receive free bed linens, Christmas toys, clothing, shoes, appliances, vouchers, gift certificates and financial aid.
Heating and energy assistance from the Urban League Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) was created to provide financial assistance and cash grants to help pay heating bills during the months of October through March. It is available in St. Louis City and Wellston, based on total household income, family size, and availability of funds.
Additional Utility Bill Assistance is offered by the Urban League. It is supported through the generosity of the Illinois Energy Foundation – Warm Neighbor Program, Ameren UE Dollar More Program, Heat-Up St. Louis, Cool Down St. Louis, the Emergency Food & Shelter Program, as well as the Department of Human Services Homeless Prevention Program.
Through fundraising events and community volunteers, utility, natural gas bill and heating assistance dollars are generated for distribution to low income seniors, households with young children and persons from St. Louis with disabilities.
Highlights of the financial aid program include grants to pay for reconnection and/or the prevention of utility shutoffs. There may be funds to pay for bills, energy conservation and weatherization kits to over and more offered to senior citizens. There is also support for households with children from St. Louis Metropolitan area.
The Weatherization Assistance Program provides free conservation and weatherization assistance to qualified homeowners. The Urban League will also offer this to renters residing in St. Louis City, with emphasis on service to the disabled, elderly persons living on a fixed income, and families with younger children.
Services from the non-profit may include extra wall and ceiling insulation, glazing and repairing windows and doors sealing air leaks, installing weather stripping, minor heating duct repair, hot water tank repair, furnace repair or even replacement.
Head Start is a locally operated, but federally funded national program that provides education and child development services. It is offered to low-income children and families, with a special focus on improving school readiness, such as literacy and math skills.
In addition to offering this early childhood education, other services provided by Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis as part of Head Start include free dental exams, nutritious meals, health checkups and nutrition assessments. Other aid may be disability and mental health services, sensory and developmental screenings and an array of social services. These may be provided in-house and by partnering with local non-profit community agencies. Transportation is available for part-day children in the service area, and there may be some home care offered too.
The Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, Inc. hosts a GED - General Education Diploma program in partnership with other groups such as the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and the Missouri Career Center at the St. Louis County Office.
The educational program is for persons of all income and backgrounds that are seeking to continue their primary and secondary education. The program offers basic education coursework in oral communications, reading, writing, mathematics, sciences, and social studies.
The urban League GED program has two main options and is open to the entire community with students working with an instructor to establish both short and long term educational goals. Of course the long term goal is to help clients on the attainment of a High School Equivalency Certificate or a state of Missouri General Education Diploma (GED).
Scholarships may be available through donations and gifts from individuals and organizations throughout the St. Louis community. Working with these groups, the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis Inc. awards free grants or scholarships to St. Louis Metro area students based on their academic achievement, character, any community service done and of course their financial need.
There are two main options, and they are the UMB William Robinson Memorial Scholarship as well as the Leslie Scholarship. They are offered in subjects as diverse and challenging as biology, mechanical, electrical and aerospace engineering, business, accounting, chemistry, law and pre-med.
Computer skills and training is part of the Urban League program known as Bridging the Digital Divide. This can counter the negative effects of the “Digital Divide” by offering low-income African Americans, minorities and others who need computer training and access to become better prepared for preferred employment and/or increased job earnings.
Much of this, and more, is offered as part of the Urban League Business Training Center. This provides services at a few different sites across the bi-state area, including training in the AT&T Digital Career Academy, assessment and training in administrative/computer skills. There are other job training services as well in St. Clair County.
The Financial Literacy Training service is designed to teach participants from the city and county how to make smart money management decisions. Participants in the program, regardless of their income, learn how to open basic checking and saving account management, manage household budgets, get help in understanding credit reports and improving negative credit ratings, and recognizing the signs of predatory and payday lending.
There are a few offices in the area, as noted below.
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