2023-2024 State Service Project
Since it’s inception, LOVEtheLOU has kept a pulse on what neighbors need in the city and how those needs can be met through loving relationships. It’s these relationships that they believe will transform St. Louis.
LOVEtheLOU was formed out of the very simple idea of bringing people together all with the common desire to meet urban needs.
The organization initially focused on loving the city by serving local businesses. Then, the first commUNITY Festival was held in the Old North City. This was the first major public project labeled under the title of LOVEtheLOU. The small group of LOVEtheLOU volunteers partnered with other local nonprofits for the event. Many relationships were formed and passions were stirred during that first festival. This was a pivotal moment that propelled LOVEtheLOU forward.
Since then, LOVEtheLOU has grown and changed as an organization in many different ways, but their mission remains the same: to unite the City of St. Louis through meaningful relationships with a loving foundation. Since August of 2010, Love the LOU staff has been planning trip for outside groups to come in and serve the city. They have hosted many more block parties, been a part of several community development projects and built lasting relationships in the St. Louis area.
STL | LIFT
This program empowers students through one-on-one mentoring, tutoring, trips, empowering experiences, life skills, small groups and enrichments. LOVEtheLOU have awesome partnerships with counseling services and other organizations that students are able to take full advantage of. There is a heavy focus on relationships building in order to develop trust and a healthy community. The desire is to come alongside students while they journey into young adulthood, provide them with countless resources, and help them to reach their short and long term goals.
STL | LINK
STL LINK exists to connect North St. Louis neighbors to career opportunities. LOVEtheLOU have a passion and desire to see North St. Louis residents flourish in ways that have never happened historically. They believe that this foundation of opportunity is created by their people continuing to understand who they are and what they’re capable of. Specifically, LINK works with ages 18 years and above. Their apprentices walk through an individualized curriculum that allows them to grow at their own pace. The goal is to see each apprentice be ready for a career not just “getting a job.” Apprentices meet weekly with the leadership team of LINK throughout the year.
STL | LIVE
One of the most pressing needs in North St. Louis is housing. There are multiple facets to this issue that make it complicated for any organization to tackle. First of all there is an overwhelming amount of abandoned and vacant houses. This can lead to destabilized communities, unscrupulous developers, and higher crime. Secondly, the majority of neighbors do not own and have no means for ever purchasing. This can lead to a feeling of hopelessness and a the transient lifestyle of renting but never owning.
LOVEtheLOU seeks to see these two needs reversed in one program. The STL|LIVE program invites groups like churches, businesses, and universities to be a part of the solution. They find able teams of people and match them with houses to fix up. Then they find People of Peace within North St. Louis, with little access to ownership of a home, and we present them with a renovated house and a “rent to own” lease.