ST. LOUIS — 5 On Your Side wants to empower motivated, passionate people by helping them take action and make a positive impact on our community. We’re doing this with what we’re calling Project 5.

Earlier in 2019, community groups submitted proposals asking for support for specific needs in their community. A panel of community leaders met to narrow the list down to five ideas, which are focused on making a difference in our community. Those five chosen ideas will be funded through grants to turn them into tangible projects. The first two rounds of projects will be funded through the TEGNA Foundation.

The projects

Neighborhood beautification project - COMPLETE!
Wesley House is one of the metropolitan area’s longest-standing social service agencies, and their after-school program provides children between the ages of 5 and 13 a safe place to learn social skills and academic help. But the building in which this program takes place needed of a lot of work. Project 5 funded a new playground, mural painting, fence repair, and other general facility upgrades.

Tranquility Park brings Peace to the Streets
Southeast Ferguson Community Association and the Southeast Ferguson Youth Fellows are partnering with HOSCO Farms, Urban Strategies, and Lipton Properties to bring "Peace to the Streets" to the properties of Canfield Green. Inspired by the Metro Market mobile produce bus, residents know when you bring resources to southeast Ferguson and Canfield Green you bring hope to an entire community. The southeast Ferguson community's goal is to develop and sustain safe spaces for children and families to gather. This includes new playground equipment, landscaping, and a home for public health healing.

School pool renovation
In conjunction with the St. Louis County PAL and Jennings School District, Project 5 will fund renovations to a facility with limited resources. This facility provides a safe location for children to learn and grow by interacting with police officers on an individual level. The officers are certified lifeguards and even provide swimming lessons for children who wouldn’t otherwise have access to the service.

The barbershop expansion
The Village provides the next generation of young men from at-risk communities with the tools needed to achieve success in the areas of academics, spirituality, and career by connecting them with empowered and enlightened male mentors. In their third year of partnership, The Village and Clay Academy of Exploration and Civics, provides positive support such as the “Cutting Class” Barbershop to reward student achievement. Barbers provide free haircuts every week to students who demonstrate academic leadership. Recipients are expected to enrich their learning by reading while being serviced. Project 5 will sponsor a renovation of the barbershop. The remodel will include new chairs, wash bowls, products and more. This expansion will allow the services to expand to all students.

Makeover of children’s learning spaces - COMPLETE!
Project 5 created an educational and play space for first grade classrooms in a building recently purchased by Lift For Life Academy. This building is a former church and is the new Lift For Life Academy elementary school for children who live in the City of St. Louis. The school will serve 238 K-5th grade students when it’s fully operational. Project 5 volunteers from 5 On Your Side and the Ritz-Carlton St. Louis came together to donate their time and talents to paint the classrooms and storage areas.

Selection process

The five chosen projects were selected by an advisory panel comprised of members of the community:

  • Michael Lanahan, director of business and community solutions at Missouri Department of Economic Development
  • David Noble, director of community economic development at Midland States Bank
  • Angelia Bills, vice president of communication at Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis
  • Dave Leipholtz, director of community-based studies at Better Together

The advisory panel met virtually and selected the projects to be funded by considering their sustainability, volunteer opportunities, and the likelihood the project could be completed in a short time frame.

How you can help

As these projects get underway we’ll be looking for community members willing to volunteer their time and talents to helping make these projects reality. We are not currently accepting donations, but check back here for future opportunities.

How to submit your own project

Check back here in late 2019 for information about how to submit your own community project for consideration for 2020’s round of Project 5 funding.