St. Louis Association of Community Organizations
Sundy Whiteside, SLACO Board President
SLACO Delivers Place-Based Programs and Services
One of the four goal areas for the next three years is the continuation and expansion of the place-based programs and services that are part of SLACO's history and future. This includes our work in the Etzel Community Center.
At the present time, this work is concentrated in the City's West End neighborhood, encompassing also what the City of St. Louis calls the Visitation Park neighborhood. This area could be thought of as bound by Page on the north, Delmar on the south, Skinker on the west, and Union on the east.
For two years SLACO has been engaged with its partners in planning and now implementation of the West End Collaborative. The other entities are Cornerstone Corporation and St. Vincent Greenway, Inc. We are grateful to Community Builders Network for facilitating the work of our collaborative planning process. While by no means a comprehensive plan for addressing all of the issues important to this rapidly developing neighborhood, the three corporations working in at least some of the same geographic areas have agreed to take joint action in the areas of:
1. Better internal communication and awareness of calendar items
2. External communication of advances in the neighborhood
3. Exploration of housing development or redevelopment initiatives
4. Two annual clean-ups and one annual beautification project
5. Fostering economic development and job creation through promoting and supporting local entrepreneurs
With potential assets including a former public school now being revived as a community center and business space, about 150 LRA-owned vacant lots, and several private properties in need of rehabilitation, the Collaborative is monitoring and maintaining information about development potential within the neighborhood.