FOCUS St. Louis and United Way of Greater St. Louis Launch Partnership to Address Widespread Community Challenges

Becky RasmussenEvents, News

FOCUS St. Louis and United Way of Greater St. Louis are excited to team up to introduce a first of its kind, year-long partnership focused on exploring, understanding and addressing the most pressing needs of the St. Louis region.

A Community Needs Assessment released by United Way of Greater St. Louis in early 2020, coupled with the real-time data and insights available daily through United Way 2-1-1, has revealed three primary challenges ranked among the highest priorities for our 16-county region: affordable housing, jobs and transportation, and behavioral health. Starting Sept. 21, 2022, each of these issues will be explored in-depth with the help of regional leaders and policy experts in a free series of in-person panel discussions, open to all in our community.

The Overall Health, Vitality, and Success of Our Community
Presented by United Way of Greater St. Louis and FOCUS St. Louis
Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022: Affordable Housing
Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022: Behavioral Health
Tuesday, March 7, 2023: Jobs & Transportation

Registration for the Sept. 21 forum is now live at, and details for the remaining events will be announced shortly.

“Our region faces many challenges, from the ability to afford basic living expenses to unanticipated crises that arise on any given day, creating the need for poised and positioned leadership at all levels of our community,” says Michelle Tucker, President and CEO of the United Way of Greater St. Louis. “We are excited to launch this partnership with FOCUS and bring community leaders and changemakers together to find new and innovative solutions to address the community’s most pressing needs so our region can become stronger and more equitable for all.”

“A healthy community is one where all residents have access to safe and healthy homes, economic mobility, reliable transportation, quality education, physical activity and nutrition, and quality health care, especially mental health resources,” says Dr. Yemi Akande-Bartsch, President and CEO of FOCUS St. Louis. “These are issues we explore every day in our civic leadership programs, and we look forward to bringing those discussions to our wider St. Louis community.”

About FOCUS St. Louis

FOCUS St. Louis is the leading civic education organization in the Greater St. Louis metropolitan region. It’s a nonprofit that prepares diverse leaders to work cooperatively for a thriving community through its experience-based leadership training, civic issue education and public engagement initiatives. As a neutral convener and facilitator, FOCUS engages citizens to deliberate on critical regional community issues in a trusted, nonpartisan space. Find out more at

About United Way of Greater St. Louis

United Way of Greater St. Louis mobilizes the community with one goal in mind — helping people live their best possible lives. Located throughout 16 counties in Missouri and Illinois, United Way helps one in three people in the region build a foundation for a good quality of life through essential needs, early childhood and youth success, health and wellbeing, jobs and financial mobility, and community stability and crisis response. For more information, contact 314-421-0700 or visit