On Thursday, May 29th, 2014, St. Louis County held a policy forum on suburban poverty and community development. The forum was planned in conjunction with our partners at Beyond Housing, University of Missouri - St. Louis, and East-West Gateway and was held in Wellston, MO. We had about 160 practitioners, partners, and citizens attend the forum. We heard from two nationally-known experts on changing trends in poverty and new, innovative approaches to community development. We also discussed some of the issues facing our neighborhoods in St. Louis County that are threatened with slipping into concentrated poverty. The title of the forum was:

Creating Strong Communities For All in St. Louis County: What Can Be Done at the Local Level?

The purpose of the forum was to jumpstart a county-wide conversation about new tools and approaches to addressing poverty and distressed suburban neighborhoods in St. Louis County. From here, our local leaders in community development will explore best practices, local funding structures, and new investment opportunities to identify how to get the greatest positive impact for investments in St. Louis County communities.

As this policy forum was inspired by our local leaders and citizens who contributed to the planning process for Imagining Tomorrow, St. Louis County’s strategic plan, we will continue to remain engaged through gatherings and online communications.

Our two invited speakers were:

Our panel of local officials included: