LifeWise STL

Where Knowledge and Nurture Change Futures

aka LifeWise STL   |   St. Louis, MO   |  www.lifewisestl.org

Mission

Our mission is to help individuals and families achieve economic well-being by providing high-impact, relationship-based programming and by addressing systemic barriers to their success.

Ruling year info

2011

President/CEO

Mr. Scott E. Walker

Development & Associate Executive Director

Mrs. Jennifer L March

Main address

1321 S. 11th Street

St. Louis, MO 63104 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

43-0652648

NTEE code info

Neighborhood Center, Settlement House (P28)

Children's and Youth Services (P30)

Family Services (P40)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

St. Louis City has continually ranked the worst in comparison to other MO counties in the wellbeing of young children, including such factors as poverty, school dropouts and teen pregnancy. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the 2014 estimated median household income for St. Louis residents was $34,800, compared to the national median of $53,482. Approximately 28.8% of St. Louis residents earn below the poverty level, compared to a national average of 14.8%. MO is one of the leading states for payday lending. Studies show that reporting high levels of debt relative to assets is associated with higher perceived stress and depression, and worse self reported general health. In the St. Louis region, many older adults suffer from poor health and struggle to live either without a support system or a weak and fragmented one. As individuals age, they often experience limited mobility which hinders their ability to get out into the community. This can develop into social isolation.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Early Childhood Center

The LifeWise STL Early Childhood Center provides high quality childcare and preschool education for 94 children, ages 6 weeks to 5 years of age. The Center is open year-round, Monday through Friday, from 6:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Children receive breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack. .

Population(s) Served

The LifeWise STL After School Program provides an academically-focused environment conducive to homework help and supplemental educational curriculum/activities.

Population(s) Served

LIfeWise STL became a Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools Program partner in 2016. Founded in 1995, the Freedom Schools Program seeks to build strong, literate and empowered children prepared to make a difference in themselves, their families, communities, nation and world today. By providing summer reading enrichment for children who might not otherwise have access to books, the program plays a much needed role in helping to curb summer learning loss and close achievement gaps.

The dynamic curriculum aligns with the Common Core Standards and includes science, technology, engineering and math (STEM education) activities. A 10:1 child-to-teacher ratio keeps the culturally relevant curriculum engaging.

Population(s) Served

LifeWise Academy provides academic enrichment, social-emotional support, life skills and job readiness activities to teens during a critical period of development so that they are better prepared for a post-secondary institution and/or the workforce.

Population(s) Served

ESOL classes provide the opportunity for participants to work with trained teachers to grow their English language skills. Classes teach essentials of the language and help individuals improve in areas such as writing, speaking and reading comprehension. Participants are able to utilize these language skills at work, home and in the community. During class, participants also learn about St. Louis and American culture in a supportive environment.

Population(s) Served

Through one-on-one coaching, financial education and access to credit and wealth building financial products​, members receive financial stability services that provide the support needed to achieve their economic goals. Families, individuals and Kingdom House employees are invited to attend financial education classes and meet privately with financial social workers and coaches to establish clearly defined goals and develop strategies to meet them.

Population(s) Served

The LIfeWise STL Health and Wellness Program offers fitness classes, nutrition and cooking workshops, one-on-one coaching sessions and a healthy meal feature. Participants receive the support and tools needed to achieve their health and wellness goals.

Population(s) Served

Apoyo y Cariño (Support and Care) is a program funded by the Maternal Child and Family Health Coalition that focuses on intervention to Latina mothers who are pregnant or parenting babies through 24 months of age. Latina women are at a high risk of depression or anxiety and they face unique challenges, including isolation, trauma, and lack of access to community resources. The consequences of maternal depression are dire because they affect both the mother and her child.

The program offers supportive services through targeted case management that focuses on issues relevant to new and immigrant mothers, including translation and interpretation, assistance with Medicaid and other healthcare obstacles, and navigating childcare to name a few. The program also has close connections with other community resources to assist with referrals including WIC, legal services, daycare, etc.

Population(s) Served

Enlace is a program that focuses on building social capital and access to resources for participants. Studies show that social capital–a form of capital that exists in the relationships between people–is vital to upward mobility, and lack of social capital is often strongly correlated with poverty. Enlace seeks to provide a space for neighbors to connect with one another, share resources and learn about their community.

Population(s) Served

The Senior Companion Program provides individuals who are 55 years of age or older and meet set program guidelines with meaningful volunteer opportunities in their community. Senior Companions receive a non-taxable hourly stipend and mileage reimbursement, which enables them to volunteer at no out-of-pocket expense. Companions receive 20 hours of training prior to their first assignment and additional training monthly. Medical or technical skills are not required.

Through home and community visits, Senior Companions help isolated and frail elderly adults maintain the highest possible level of independent living. Companions also provide short periods of relief to family caregivers, enabling them to take a break or run errands. Without this service, many individuals may not be able to continue living at home and may need more expensive and less personalized care.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of clients served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Includes both direct and indirect client data.

Number of participants engaged in programs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Direct clients only--clients who received extensive and/or long-term services in small groups or 1:1. These clients are unduplicated and we collect complex data records on them.

Number of clients participating in educational programs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Not unduplicated.

Number of clients who self-report increased skills/knowledge after educational program/intervention

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of savings accounts used by clients

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Financial Stability Services

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of financial literacy courses conducted

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Financial Stability Services

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of students who exhibit kindergarten readiness

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Early Childhood Center

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of youth who plan to attend post-secondary education

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

LifeWise Academy (Teen) Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

LifeWise STL is committed to helping program participants achieve wellness in all areas of their daily life.

Participants in Family Development will experience:
-an increase in physical wellness,
-a reduction in the symptoms of perinatal mood disorders,
-an increase in skills learned in adult education courses like HiSet preparation, and ESOL,
-an increase in financial stability (including improved credit, increased savings and assets, and decreased debt)
-and an increase in social capital

Early Childhood Center
-increased readiness to enter kindergarten
-increased ability to reach age-appropriate developmental milestones

After School/Summer Camp
-increased proficiency in reading/math
-increased positive self confidence

LifeWise Academy
-increased matriculation from High School
-increased knowledge of job readiness and life skills

Senior Companions
-transition to a stable or improved living situation

Our Early Childhood Program is accredited under the Missouri Accreditation of Programs for Children and Youth and provides quality services for 94 children ages 6 weeks to 5 years of age. We are a member of United 4 Children, which provides technical support and in-service training, as well as ChildCare Aware of Missouri. We use Creative Curriculum, which is based on the latest research on how children learn and has been shown through experimental studies to improve classroom quality and promote school readiness of preschool aged children. We use Teaching Strategies Gold as an ongoing assessment tool to help provide individualization, plan goals and objectives, and track outcomes.

Our After School and Summer Camp programs provide an academically-focused environment conducive to homework help-seeking and supplemental educational curriculum/activities. In 2018, we brought in learning disability consultants to work with children who have learning disabilities. Consultants see 18 children twice per week.

LIfeWise Academy is a unique program providing academic enrichment, social-emotional support, life skills, and job readiness activities to approximately 100 teens during a critical period of development so that they are better prepared for a post-secondary institution and/or the workforce.

The Family Development Department offers Adult Education in the form of ESOL classes. Through Financial Stability Services like one-on-one coaching, financial education, and access to credit- and wealth-building financial products, members achieve their economic goals. The LifeWise STL Health and Wellness Program offers fitness classes, nutrition workshops, coaching sessions and a healthy meal feature. Participants receive the support needed to achieve their health and wellness goals. Enlace is a program that focuses on building social capital and access to resources for participants. Studies show that social capital is vital to upward mobility, and the lack of is often strongly correlated with poverty. Apoyo y Cariño focuses on intervention to Latina mothers who are pregnant or parenting babies through 24 months of age. Family Development also offers a low-cost thrift store, low-cost healthy food market, and free childcare to support families as they participate in programs.

Through home and community visits, the Senior Companion Program helps isolated and frail elderly adults maintain the highest possible level of independent living. The LifeWise STL Senior Resiliency Fund is a four-part intervention for lower income older adults to gain access to valuable information and liquid assets for savings, and to grow relationships in the community.

LifeWise STL has a full-time, Master's-level employee dedicated to program evaluation for the organization, ensuring program quality and fidelity to evidence-based practice. All data are housed in a HIPAA-compliant database called Efforts to Outcomes. All Program Directors and the Coordinators of Family Development are Masters-prepared and utilize current research in their fields of expertise and evidence-tested assessment tools. LifeWise STL supports all staff in continuous professional development.

LIfeWise STL provides bilingual programming and interpretation for all participants and removes barriers to engaging in programs through the provision of our market, thrift store and child care. We incorporate program evaluation as a continuous quality improvement process across every department. Many of our clients come to us with an existing foundation, be that a job, a place to live or a supportive social network. Because of this our services are tailored to get clients to that next level, like purchasing a home, paying off student debt, preventing (and in some cases eliminating) chronic disease diagnoses and achieving post-secondary education.

LifeWise STL is the only agency in neighborhoods south of downtown St. Louis that provides a comprehensive array of services for children of all ages and their families. There are also very few agencies in the St. Louis Metro Area that provide bilingual (Spanish/English) social services, and the increase in the Hispanic clients at LifeWise STL reflects the demand.

In 2018, LifeWise STL impacted a total of 2,269 individuals through its diverse programs and services designed to address the needs of low-income community members of all ages and cultural backgrounds.

Due to the volume of our programming, we have a number of outcomes through which we define success. In 2018:
-82% (27/33) of After School and Summer Camp students improved their reading skills.
-79% (74/94) of Early Childhood participants achieved/exceeded developmental milestones.
-68% (108/158) of Financial Stability clients increased their savings, credit, and assets.
-62% (38/61) of Mental Health clients experienced a reduction in perinatal mood disorders.
-100% (14/14) of senior class participants in Kingdom Academy graduated from high school.
-80% (16/20) of participants in Kingdom Academy's Wyman Teen Outreach Program (TOP) gained critical thinking and decision making skills.
-85% (116/136) of our Senior Companion clients transitioned to a stable living situation.

Financials

LifeWise STL
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

LifeWise STL

Board of directors
as of 10/16/2019
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Ms. Jorje Quinn

Community Volunteer

Term: 2017 - 2019


Board co-chair

Mr. Ryan Kight

Edward Jones

Term: 2017 - 2019

Alfred Brown

City of St. Louis

Adam Caldwell

Thrivent Financial

Patricia Heavens-Kosh

David Guess

Maher & Company, PC

Victoria Brown-Kennerly

Webster University

Phil Cooper

Michael Dambach

Plancorp, LLC

Dana Warfield-Harris

Kindred at Home

Debra Gonzalez

Washington University School of Medicine

Donna Puyear

Eric Seidler

Ameren

Janet Williams

John Higdon

BJC HealthCare

Karla Samson

Square

Michael Moll

Robert Puyear

Sally Beth Lyon

Saint Louis University

Shari Scott

Yvi Martin

The Gathering United Methodist Church

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes