“Efforts to tackle the opioid crisis, crime, homelessness and poverty need to be scaled up. We need more job training and mentoring programs. The best way to stop a gun is a job! We have to be able to deliver resources that families need to change the trajectory of the entire family.”
James Clark – Vice President, Community Outreach
Vice President of Community Outreach
Community Outreach Team
Our mission is to develop a neighborhood serving programmatic infrastructure that is sustainable.
The infrastructure engages, accesses, and directs services.
Community Outreach Programs
Beyond The Wall
Prominent black St. Louis politicians, entrepreneurs and entertainers are the subjects of portraits decorating boarded-up doors and windows of blighted buildings in St. Louis.
Colorful paintings of local figures such as activist Jamala Rogersand former state Sen. J.B. "Jet" Banks adorn doorways and windows of vacant homes along Page Boulevard between Kingshighway and Union Boulevards. St. Louis nonprofit Better Family Life commissioned local artist Christopher Green to paint the portraits for the organization's Beyond the Walls project, which began in 2011.
"Through the Beyond the Walls mural program, we have looked at different individuals who have contributed to the advancement of the community," said James Clark, vice president of community outreach at Better Family Life.
Cuts & Conversations
The first Monday of each month Better Family Life's Community Outreach Department, under the leadership of Vice President James Clark, brings Cutz and Conversations to St. Louis' most challenged neighborhoods.
Cutz and Conversations provides free professional hair cuts, snacks, and real world conversations.
To donate this cause or for more informations call 314-381-8200.
Grill To Glory
Set up a grill.
Light some charcoal.
And put on some hot dogs.
Grill to Glory is an offshoot of Better Family Life’s “neighborhood opioid triage,” in which the group tries to help addicts in open-air drug markets by handing out toiletries and Narcan (used to revive someone who is overdosing from opioids), offering to take them to treatment centers and grilling hot dogs.
“It becomes a neighborhood magnet and conversations begin. Members of the church are there, and they are not aggressively trying to push the Bible. They are just saying, ‘We are the church. We’re here. Come fellowship with us. And if you are free tomorrow morning, why don’t you come to service?’” - James Clark
Gun Violence De-Escalation
“The fact of the matter is people don’t go to churches with this information, people don’t go to the police, students don’t go to the principal,” said James Clark, Better Family Life’s vice president of community outreach. “This gives a credible way for the community to participate in this gun violence crisis that we’re in right now.”
Once they hear of an ongoing conflict, the team works quickly to gather information about each side of the issue, scouring social media feeds, making phone calls and reaching out to community members who might know more about how it started.
Juvenile Justice Program
Neighborhood Power Of Employment Series
Pulpit To Porches
Community Outreach Annual Events
Since 2000, the St. Louis Metropolitan Amnesty Program has helped more than 20,000 local residents overcome challenges connected with outstanding warrants. The program helps individuals get on the right track by helping them get outstanding warrants off their record.
Launched in 2017, Clean Sweep is an intense large scale, highly charged neighborhood clean-up initiative spearheaded by Better Family Life’s Community Outreach, by which neighborhood residents, volunteers from throughout the region, City of St. Louis Departments and area construction companies to address one of the City’s most pressing issues, the physical condition and environment of more challenged neighborhoods.
The vision of (BFL) Clean Sweep is to provide the St. Louis Metropolitan area with an annual event that ignites and maintains momentum for neighborhood revitalization by providing inner-city residents a real sense of hope for a clean, vibrant and fully-functioning community; to recruit and engage a broad base of volunteers who promote real regional unity; and to demonstrate what is possible when we all work together.