Welcome to
the Better Family Life
Cultural, Educational and Business Center (CEBC)
opened february 2013!


When CEO, Malik Ahmed, conceptualized Better Family Life, he envisioned infusing the traditions of a rich and diverse cultural heritage as the basis for creating a means by which families could achieve higher levels of human existence.  Since it’s official birthdate on February 6, 1983 Better Family Life has developed into an organization serving over 50,000 unduplicated customers annually, collaborates with more than 700 employer partners, 100 community-and faith-based and education partners, and employs 169 people full-time in 8 locations.  We accomplish this through programs and services in the areas of housing and financial literacy, workforce development, youth, family and clinical services, community outreach, and cultural arts.

On June 29, 2005, Better Family Life, Inc. purchased the Ralph Waldo Emerson Elementary School from the St. Louis Board of Education to transform this historically significant structure into the “Better Family Life Cultural, Educational, and Business Center (CEBC); an institution dedicated to local, regional, and national significance.  

Strategically positioned at 5415 Page Boulevard, this 60,000 square foot gem is listed on both the Missouri State and the National Registry of Historic Landmarks. Designed and built by world renowned architect William B. Ittner, the Cultural Center complements the existing local and historic architecture, and the redevelopment currently taking place in the surrounding neighborhoods.

Embedded in an urban community, the Cultural Center is an invaluable asset to the neighborhood’s infrastructure and is a marketable commencement of cultural renewal and economic re-development.  It further stimulates the City of St. Louis’ 26th Ward, formally referred to as the “West End,” an area once known for its eloquent splendor and prominent families.   BFL envisions a vibrant corridor along Page Blvd. that will include residential stability and beautification, and commercial enterprises.

BFL’s Board of Directors and staff will roll out “the red carpet on July 24, 2013 to cordially welcome supporters, donors, friends, visitors, clients and family to the grand opening of “St. Louis’s Newest Jewel” The Better Family Life Cultural, Educational, and Business Center, a $16,000,000 institutional investment in the City of St. Louis.

The Better Family Life Cultural, Educational, and Business Center will serve as national headquarters for Better Family Life operations and provide a one-stop shop for the holistic array of programs under the auspices of the agency.

BFL will continue to inspire and implement cultural and artistic learning, provide a myriad of needed social services, create and spawn new business development and entrepreneurial opportunities, as well as promote community/resident engagement through five (5) core pillars of service and BFL’s keystone events:

1)    Housing and Asset Development
2)    Workforce Development
3)    Youth, Family and Clinical Services
4)    Community Outreach 
5)    Cultural Arts  


1)    “BLACK DANCE – USA:  A Celebration in Movement”
2)    Family Week 
3)    The Unity Ball
4)    The Kwanzaa Holiday Expo

The (preparation) (funding) of this project report, map, document, etc., (is) (was) financed (in part) (wholly) through a grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Community development Administration under the provision of Title I of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 (Pub L, 93-383 42 USC 5301 et seq.) and/or HOME Title II of the National Affordable Housing Act of 1990, as amended (Public Law 101-625)