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Youth and Family Program Continues To Grow

Places for People’s Youth and Family Services programs marked another major milestone in its growth this week when it moved into a new home.

The move consolidates two offices located almost 4 miles apart. Previously, part of the program was located in office space on Lindell Boulevard and two community-based teams in the program were based out of St. Vincent DePaul Catholic Church in Soulard.

Going forward, all teams associated with the Youth and Family Services program will be located in a series of suites on the second floor of the office building at 4236 Lindell Boulevard, providing more opportunities for collaboration and enhanced communication.

The move nearly doubles the amount of office space for the program, from 2,700 square feet to 5,200 square feet. The benefits of the increased space will be felt immediately by persons served and staff members.

Previously, four therapists and two nurses shared two private rooms, which created some scheduling challenges. Youth and Family Services Program Manager Mike Lamping said that having more rooms available for therapists and nurses will provide “more consistency and continuity for the people we serve.”

The program’s community-based teams will be able to collaborate without making the drive between Soulard and Midtown.

The finishing touches are being put on the offices in time for its opening Thursday morning. “It’s important that we can provide a welcoming space that is comfortable,” Lamping said.

The goal of all of Places for People’s Youth and Family service lines is to build the resilience, skills, and positive support systems necessary to promote healthy development for children, youth, and those transitioning to adulthood.

The program has experienced tremendous growth in the past two years to coincide with Places for People’s participation in the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic demonstration program.

“Our ability to put a focus on children and youth is critical as we work to improve the overall system of care,” said Places for People Executive Director Joe Yancey. “Such a focus allows the opportunity to begin service interventions much earlier in life as we know that many of the behavioral health issues we see in the adults we serve often had their genesis in those things they experienced earlier in life, primarily as children.”

Our ability to put a focus on children and youth is critical as we work to improve the overall system of care
Joe Yancey, Executive Director

The core services provided by the program started nearly two decades ago in 1999 when the St. Louis City Mental Health Board awarded Community Alternatives a grant to begin a program for court-involved youth ages 12-17. (Community Alternatives merged with Places for People in 2011.)

In 1999, the youth and family services program had a staff of four. Today, the program has grown to nearly 30 employees, offering a full range of programs.

Places for People’s Youth and Family program offers community support, peer support from Family Support Providers, psychiatry, nursing, and therapy services, and more to children of all ages, and their families. The program also offers The Incredible Years to support parents and caregivers and help them build the skills necessary to provide appropriate and effective boundaries for their children.

The department has grown to nearly 30 employees, and receives funding for its programs from the Department of Mental Health, the St. Louis Mental Health Board, and St. Louis County’s Children’s Services Fund.