FOCUS St. Louis and United Way of Greater St. Louis Launch Partnership to Address Widespread Community Challenges

FOCUS St. Louis and United Way of Greater St. Louis are excited to team up to introduce a first of its kind, year-long partnership focused on exploring, understanding and addressing the most pressing needs of the St. Louis region.


A Community Needs Assessment released by United Way of Greater St. Louis in early 2020, coupled with the real-time data and insights available daily through United Way 2-1-1, has revealed three primary challenges ranked among the highest priorities for our 16-county region: affordable housing, jobs and transportation, and behavioral health. Starting Sept. 21, 2022, each of these issues will be explored in-depth with the help of regional leaders and policy experts in a free series of in-person panel discussions, open to all in our community.



The Overall Health, Vitality, and Success of Our Community
Presented by United Way of Greater St. Louis and FOCUS St. Louis

Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022: Affordable Housing

Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022: Behavioral Health

Tuesday, March 7, 2023: Jobs & Transportation


Registration for the Sept. 21 forum is now live at, and details for the remaining events will be announced shortly.


“Our region faces many challenges, from the ability to afford basic living expenses to unanticipated crises that arise on any given day, creating the need for poised and positioned leadership at all levels of our community,” says Michelle Tucker, President and CEO of the United Way of Greater St. Louis. “We are excited to launch this partnership with FOCUS and bring community leaders and changemakers together to find new and innovative solutions to address the community’s most pressing needs so our region can become stronger and more equitable for all.”


“A healthy community is one where all residents have access to safe and healthy homes, economic mobility, reliable transportation, quality education, physical activity and nutrition, and quality health care, especially mental health resources,” says Dr. Yemi Akande-Bartsch, President and CEO of FOCUS St. Louis. “These are issues we explore every day in our civic leadership programs, and we look forward to bringing those discussions to our wider St. Louis community.”


Rodney Humphries
Rodney Humphries

Rodney Humphries is the Communications Specialist for United Way of Greater St. Louis and a proud graduate of Webster University where he developed his passion for writing. In college, he combined his love for writing and sports, serving as the primary sports writer for his school newspaper while also developing his own sports blog. After graduating, he continued his love for writing as he served as a freelance writer for various publications. Rodney continues to be a fan of Webster athletics, you will often see him sitting courtside at a lot of their basketball games.