The Path to Possible campaign will create a permanent home for a transformational program. Through emergency assistance, 1:1 case management, and self-sufficiency workshops, Guardian Angel’s Social Services program is a critical source of support for individuals and families on the path out of poverty. This $3 million campaign will turn a blighted, unused property into a robust community resource and extend these services to help many more people in our community. The campaign was kicked off by an amazing $1 million gift from an anonymous family foundation. We still need your support to cross the finish line. Please join us!
The campaign will cover the purchase and renovation of this 18,000 square foot facility.
When complete, the new Social Services Center will feature: (Click Read More below for more information)
Videos Related to the Campaign
Social Services Center GroundBreaking Event – September 12, 2018
Classrooms for Expanded Programming: In keeping with our philosophy of providing a “hand-up” to our partners, everyone receiving emergency services is required to attend at least two self-sufficiency workshops each quarter. This requirement calls for expanded space to facilitate five workshops a week and make a greater long-term impact.
Modern Technology: In the digital age, jobs at every level require technological know-how. We train our partners in the computer skills they need to get and keep jobs. The new facility will feature a computer lab to provide these services effectively to all who need them.
Angel Boutique Resale Shop: Our resale shop offers high-quality used goods to the neighborhood, helps our partners dress-for-success on a budget, and functions as a training space for our job programs. It also provides us with valuable revenue.
Accessibility: Our current space lacks an elevator, requiring guests to trek up two long flights of stairs, which is prohibitive to many of our partners who are aging and living with disabilities. The new building’s single- floor layout will make Guardian Angel accessible to everyone and comply with ADA requirements.
Safety and Parking: Designated parking is more secure for our partners – particularly for those with limited mobility. Our current space relies on meters – an expense many of our partners simply cannot afford, resulting in tickets they cannot pay.
Client-Choice Food Pantry: The pantry manages thousands of pounds of food every month. But with little storage and no loading dock, the system is inefficient and limited. The new building provides both features – letting us operate more efficiently and accept and store more pantry items from generous donors.
Poverty is a complex, intergenerational problem. Children raised in poverty are more than five times more likely to be poor as adults. This means that many of our partners’ parents and grandparents were poor, and without our targeted assistance, their children are likely to be poor as well. In the 63104 and 63118 zip codes we serve, up to 30% of households live below the poverty line and unemployment is over three times the state average, despite the relatively strong job market.
The path out of poverty is challenging but possible. Our approach is flexible and personal – working 1:1 to gain a 360 degree understanding of each person’s situation. We walk beside our partners, not clients – because partners are equals working together toward a shared goal.
STEPPING TOWARDS INDEPENDENCE
Central to our commitment to promote self-sufficiency, we offer innovative workshops that address the complex array of obstacles facing people living in poverty. Participation in workshops is required for all of our partners. Some of our most popular workshops include:
90% of people who come to Guardian Angel are facing a crisis. More than half of low-income families can’t cover the cost of a flat tire, and 71% cannot pay their bills if they become unemployed or ill.
Our comprehensive programs work together to provide a safety- net while empowering our partners with the knowledge and skills needed to break free from poverty.
We provide emergency rent and utility assistance to prevent eviction – the most common reason for homelessness among poor households. In doing so, we keep families in their homes, parents in jobs, and kids in school.
Our Client-Choice Food Pantry prevents food insecurity in our community by providing 1,575 meals every month. Our partners make their own selections from our quality, fresh stock of grocery items and work with staff to maximize even the most limited budget.
Social Service Stories
Sandra felt that gainful employment was a pipe dream. We learned that she had no problem getting interviews, but the lack of bus fare made her a no-show. With one-on-one help from a Guardian Angel case worker, Sandra mapped out her goal of a job, and set a plan for opening a bank account so she could manage her limited resources more efficiently. Her perseverance paid off and today Sandra is gainfully employed in the St. Louis Public School District.
Anna was a hard-working single mom until she broke her leg. This split-second accident cost her job, which put her behind on rent and in short order on the brink of eviction. With Guardian Angel’s emergency rent support and one-on-one help with budgeting, Anna set financial goals, caught up on her bills and set an income target – leading to a new job search and a better-paying position. Today, she is confident about her family’s future.