Saint Louis County CARES Participatory Budgeting

This is your opportunity to join St. Louis County Department of Public Health’s Participatory Budgeting (PB) efforts. YOU decide how $7M of Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Stimulus (CARES) Act dollars should be spent to provide access to care services where you live. Funding may be used for testing, primary care, mental health services, etc.

Click here to apply

ReCAST Kick-Off Meeting photo

Welcome to St. Louis ReCAST!

St. Louis ReCAST is funded by a 5-year, $4.7 million grant awarded to the department by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). “ReCAST” is an acronym that stands for Resiliency in Communities After Stress and Trauma.

The grant is funding community projects in five specific areas:

  1. Violence Prevention
  2. Youth Engagement
  3. Peer Support
  4. Mental Health
  5. Trauma-Informed Care
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First and Third Year Community Projects

Following the first round of participatory budgeting, St. Louis ReCAST has awarded contracts for the first year and the third year to the following organizations in the following areas:

  1. Violence Prevention – St. Louis ReCAST has awarded a contract to Employment Connection. The organization will use the funds it has been awarded to connect 90 eligible young adults with re-entry services, including job placement and case management, cognitive therapy, high-school equivalency and adult literacy courses, and additional support services like transportation passes, uniforms, and background checks. For more information, visit
  2. Youth Engagement – St. Louis ReCAST has awarded a contract to St. Louis ArtWorks. The organization will use the funds it has been awarded to provide after-school paid apprenticeships to 80 eligible youth. For more information, visit
  3. Peer Support – St. Louis ReCAST has awarded a contract to Community Health in Partnerships (CHIPS). CHIPS will use the funds it has been awarded to offer a series of after-school workshops for eligible children to help them develop leadership skills and life coping skills. For more information, visit
  4. Mental Health – St. Louis ReCAST has awarded a contract to CHADS Coalition (“CHADS” stands for “Communities Healing Adolescent Depression and Suicide”). CHADS Coalition will use the funds it has been awarded to increase the number of hours it provides for its three programs: 1) Social and Emotional Well-Being; 2) Signs of Suicide; and 3) Family Support. For more information, visit

Second Year Community Projects

St. Louis ReCAST has awarded contracts to the following organizations in the following areas for year 2:

Mental Health/Peer Support

  • Annie Malone – is using its funds to implement the Parent Advocate Program which equips parents with knowledge that promotes healthy decision making, self-presentation, expression of needs, and effective communication when engaging in court hearings, FST/TDM meetings, community resources and community linkage, court order recommendations, job readiness, and coping and stress management skills. For more information, visit
  • U and I Rise – is using its funds to foster individual, family and community empowerment by facilitating family¬ and community- building workshops and activities. Programs include: 1) "Tapping Our Parental Power (In a Nutshell)" book for parents, 2) "Tapping Our Parental Power" (TOPP) parent education and empowerment curriculum, 3) "U&I-RISE" training for employers and organizations. 150 parents will be served. For more information, visit

Violence Prevention

  • CHADS Coalition – Second steps program aims to prevent bullying by helping schools create a safer environment through planning, staff training, and teaching students skills for friendship, assertiveness, reporting, and being responsible bystanders. Grades include K-5 and 6-8. For more information, visit
  • Metro Theater Company (MTC) – will work with educators in fifth and sixth grade classes to research and assess specific areas of concern in conflict resolution. Each residency will serve 75-100 students, allowing direct participation with the artists for each student. The project will engage 2,250 students in an interactive process that will open dialogue about nonviolent resolution in conflict situations. For more information, visit
  • North Newstead Association – will provide fun, crime-free, and social skill-building activities for children and youth in the neighborhood will help to include chess training/competitions, an ongoing reading club in partnership with St. Louis Public Library to the existing kickball, football, and playground activities at Take Back the Park events and gardening activities. For more information, visit

Youth Engagement

  • Employment Connection – is prepared to assist 15 18-20 year olds who are transitioning into the workforce by providing work readiness training, also known as World of Work or (WOW). WOW will consist of three phases-I) self-knowledge, 2) the job market, and 3) the toolkit. Issues addressed in tandem with this training include: self-care, mental health coping strategies, financial literacy, educational support, and referrals to trade programs. For more information, visit
  • Ferguson Youth Initiative – is using its funds to expand the Next Steps program. Youth ages 15 to 19 will gain knowledge and skills pertaining to becoming employed and maintaining employment. Youth gain direct connections to employers that empower youth and aid them in understanding their self-value. For more information, visit
  • Gentlemen of Vision – is a voluntary after school program that uses mentors to supervise, coach, counsel and tutor participants. Seventy-five male youth participate up to 15 hours per week after doing homework. High school and middle school students compete in step competitions and engage in community service projects. For more information, visit
  • North Campus partnership – is using its funds to tutor students on their school work via a student advocate. They provide supplemental lessons in reading, math, and science with programs such as NoRedlnk and Moby Max. Warm dinner and enrichment classes finish up the day. North Campus will provide each child with 105 hours of interesting, engaging opportunities to expand their horizons. For more information, visit
  • Superior Support Services – is using its funds to provide youth with basic independent living skills. These skills will help them learn to use community resources to plan for college attendance, and locate direct financial resources that will make that attendance a reality. Program subjects include, “Who Am I,” Career Development and Exploration, and College Preparedness. For more information, visit
  • Teens of Tomorrow – is using its funds to expand current programs: 1) T.O.T.A.L.- Teens of Tomorrow Achieving Leadership, with a curriculum called Back 2 Basics and 2) C.H.A.R.M.D.-Girls with Charisma and a Healthy Attitude Motivated to Excel and Dream. Participating youth engage in healthy conversations during group sessions. Activities, such as cooking, arts and crafts, computers, games, IT, painting, sports, light household construction and hair/body care will be presented as options for discussions. For more information, visit
  • Washington University-Stop The Bleed – is a local program which seeks to disseminate bleeding control training and equipment along with an opportunity for affirmed shared experiences in trauma as well as opportunities for collective sharing toward the end of engendering a prepared and empowered youth community in St. Louis. The goal of reaching St. Louis youth with this training is specifically linked to the epidemic of gun violence within the Promise Zone in the hope that training youth at high risk for exposure to violence may reduce their chances of dying from violent injury. For more information, visit
  • Youth and Family Center – is using it funds Character Education programming with 90 minute veteran facilitated sessions. Youth will receive guided lessons on 3 core curriculum component GOAL AREAS:
    1. RELATIONSHIPS - To support Youth to Experience Healthy Youth/Adult Relationships through positive mentor role and peer-to-peer modeling.
    2. ENGAGEMENT - Leveraging the Strengths and Talents in community by developing capacity and building Social Emotional Skills in Veterans and Youth.
    3. SENSE of PURPOSE - Opportunities for Youth and Veterans to recover a healthy sense of purpose, supported through the help of licensed clinical mental health professionals onsite during session.
    For more information, visit

About St. Louis ReCAST

All community projects are decided on and awarded through a participatory budgeting process – meaning that the communities themselves are involved in making the decisions. Participatory budgeting is a democratic process in which Promise Zone community members vote on how to spend the ReCAST funds.

St. Louis ReCAST's goals are to:

  • Build a foundation to promote well-being, resiliency, and community healing;
  • Improve access to trauma-informed community behavioral health resources and youth peer support; and
  • Create community change using a community-based participatory approach.

The Promise Zone

Map of St. LouisThe Promise Zone target area is one of only 20 federally- designated Promise Zones in the United States. It encompasses St. Louis City Wards: 1-5, 18-19, 21-22, 26-27; and parts of St. Louis County, including the communities of: Bellerive Acres, Bel-Nor, Bel-Ridge, Berkeley, Beverly Hills, Cool Valley, Country Club Hills, Dellwood, Ferguson, Flordell Hills, Glen Echo Park, Greendale, Hazelwood, Hillsdale, Jennings, Kinloch, Moline Acres, Normandy, Northwoods, Pagedale, Pine Lawn, Riverview, University City, Uplands Park, Velda City, Velda Village Hills, and Wellston.

Community Delegates

A community delegate is a resident that lives within the St. Louis Promise Zone who is willing to help make key decisions about community projects for well-being in the areas of violence prevention, mental health, youth engagement, and peer support. Individuals interested in making a difference in their community can apply to become a community delegate. Being a delegate requires extensive time and effort for which each participant will be compensated. Time commitments include attendance at weekly meetings throughout the Spring/Early Summer. Community delegates should also understand that their roles are vital and valuable to the St. Louis ReCAST effort and the St. Louis Promise Zone. Now is the time for residents to have a VOICE!

Community delegates:

  • Receive training and guidance regarding participatory budgeting;
  • Increase their knowledge in the areas of violence prevention, mental health, youth engagement, and peer support;
  • Have opportunities for social networking; and
  • Be a part of the movement towards creating sustainable and resilient communities!

Youth and family participation is highly encouraged. Participants must be at least 11 years old (those under the age of 18 will need a consent form signed by a parent/guardian). Transit passes and childcare will also be provided as needed.

Participatory Budgeting Process

  • Delegate Selection

    Community delegates (community members within the Promise Zone) will be chosen to head up community project proposals. Delegates will receive training and guidance regarding participatory budgeting.
  • Delegate Meetings

    For approximately four weeks, meetings will be held for community delegates to brainstorm and discuss project ideas.
  • Scope of Work Creation

    Community delegates, along with the ReCAST Core Advisory Board, will create and design a scope of work for the intended projects. Information will include: budget, service deliverables, target audience, number of people to be served, evaluation metrics, etc.
  • RFP Development

    The scope of work for each project proposal will be converted to professional Requests for Proposals (RFPs) by the Saint Louis County Department of Public Health (DPH).
  • Bidding

    Bids will be gathered from contractors that are able to fulfill proposal service requirements.
  • Community Voting

    At a community meeting, residents within the Promise Zone will vote to select which contractors will be awarded one-year contracts, based on who is best suited to fulfill each scope of work.
  • Implementation

    Funds are distributed and project start-up begins.
  • Evaluation

    There will be an evaluation conducted by DPH staff, Patient Research Advisory Board members, and the St. Louis ReCAST Core Advisory Board to determine the success of each contract.

Timeline for Participatory Budgeting

  • STEP 1 Participatory Budgeting Kick-Off

    Learn about the St. Louis ReCAST grant and tell us what you think about violence prevention, peer support, mental health, and youth engagement in your community.

    Delegate applications made available

  • STEP 2 Delegate Selection Briefing

    Get community input and learn about the funding priorities.

    Select 80 delegates and host a facilitated brainstorming/discussion about project ideas.

  • STEP 3 Funding Priority Group Meetings

    Explore funding opportunities and finalize project ideas.

    (Possibly two meetings per week.)

  • STEP 4 Scope of Work Development

    Create a scope of work and release a Request For Proposals for bid.

    (Possibly two meetings per week.)

  • STEP 5 Proposal Review & Community Vote

    Community review of proposals, scoring, and voting.

    Issue the awarded contracts.

Funding Priorities
Frequently Asked Questions

What is participatory budgeting?

Participatory budgeting is a process that involves the community. It allows residents to help decide how ReCAST spends its funds on mental health, peer support, youth engagement, and violence prevention.

How does participatory budgeting work?

Community delegates attend weekly meetings to brainstorm project ideas and develop a “to-do” list (or “scope of work”) for each project they want to see happen.

What is a community delegate?

A community delegate is a resident who lives in the St. Louis Promise Zone who has been selected to help lead community projects for well-being.

How are community delegates selected?

Community delegates are selected based on their age, where they live, and their preference of funding area(s) selected.

Who can be a community delegate?

Any resident of the St. Louis Promise Zone is eligible to apply. They must be at least 11 years old (parental consent is required for participants under the age of 18)

What do community delegates do?

There are two types of delegates. The first type comes up with project ideas and makes a “to-do” list for each project idea. The second type reviews proposals sent in by contractors who want to carry out the project ideas. You can only be ONE type of delegate – either an “project idea creator” or a “proposal reviewer.”

Will community delegates be paid?

Delegates receive $150.00 for participating. Metro transit passes and childcare can also be provided.

How will the community projects be selected?

After community delegates have looked over the project ideas that are sent in, residents of the Promise Zone vote on which grants will be awarded to address mental health, peer support, youth engagement, and violence prevention.

Who is eligible for funding?

Each year requests for proposals (RFPs) are posted to the Saint Louis County Department of Public Health website. Each proposal outlines service requirements, deadlines, and other information needed to apply. Non-profit and for-profit organizations are both eligible for funding.

Why should I join St. Louis ReCAST?

Joining St. Louis ReCAST allows your voice to be heard. It provides chances to meet others in the community who are working for positive change. Finally, because ReCAST uses participatory budgeting, those who join have a direct say in how money is spent on mental health, peer support, youth engagement, and violence prevention. Working together, we can all play a role in making our communities the best that they can be!