HOLISTIC GUIDING PRINCIPLeS
What Guides Change, Inc.?
At Change, Inc. St. Louis Counseling, there’s a reason why we say our experts aren’t just therapists – they’re agents of change! Since our inception, we’ve been guided by 2 Fundamental Principles that clearly differentiate us as leaders in our field.
- True healing impacts your entire being – biological, psychological, social, spiritual. Our work with you will center in our area of expertise (psychological), but if other areas are important to you, our time together may also include suggestions regarding (or elements of) wellness, exercise, yoga, meditation, mindfulness, or spirituality. If we come to agreement that more help is needed, we’ll even do our best connect you with an expert in those fields.
- True healing impacts the world around you. Our work with you centers on helping you get your life back. When you do, we suspect those around you will experience some form of healing as well, inspired by you. And hey — we’re inspired by you too! To show you how much that’s true, we donate a percentage of your counseling fees to local and national organizations with a mission that is consistent with our own, rather than spend that money or traditional marketing or advertising.
(If you’d like to see just our efforts specific to engaging communities impacted by racial tensions, please click here.)
Framework: Rationale & Evaluation Criteria
Change, Inc. and Community Engagement: Intentional, Transparent, Diverse within Context
- Observation: Socioeconomic disadvantage prevents some persons from being able to obtain direct services from Change, Inc., in spite of its sliding scale. (i.e., the sliding scale does not go down far enough for some persons)
- Response: Change, Inc. redirects a portion of its revenue base which might otherwise go to traditional marketing opportunities (e.g., print media — newspapers, magazines, etc.) to local, national, and international organizations that positively impact communities and issues our direct services can’t reach.
- Method: Change, Inc. vets each organization for value/mission congruence, demonstrated history of ethical and responsible execution, stable staffing, mutual interest, and specific needs.
Change, Inc. provides down-to-earth, non-judgmental counseling in South City, St. Louis. At both of our current locations (South Kingshighway, Hampton & 44), we offer an income-based sliding scale in an effort to make counseling more accessible for all, but recognize that socioeconomic disadvantages may yet render some persons unable to take advantage of our services. This is something that has never sat well with us, and that we felt compelled to address.
One method we’ve chosen to do so involves redirecting a portion of our revenue base which might otherwise go to traditional marketing opportunities (e.g., print media — newspapers, magazines, etc.) to local, national, and international organizations that positively impact communities and issues our direct services can’t reach. These organizations range from basic needs such as food stability, housing, and safety to things like the arts, education, economic empowerment, racial justice, youth empowerment, and veteran support.
We recognize the needs of communities are continuously evolving. In order to best respond to these changing needs, Change, Inc. makes an intentional effort to support a diverse network of organizations and causes with demonstrated histories of successfully supporting and empowering people.
What evaluation criteria does Change, Inc. use in assessing which organizations to partner with?
Prior to partnering with an organization, we evaluate multiple criteria which include (but are not necessarily limited to) the following:
- Ensuring the mission, vision, values, and operating behaviors of the organization align with the values and guiding principles of Change, Inc.;
- Ensuring the organization has a demonstrated history of serving the community it claims to support in an ethical and fiscally responsible manner through conversations with organization leadership and review of publicly available information (Charity Navigator ratings, reviews, media articles, tax filings, etc.);
- Ensuring the organization has a paid or volunteer staff and/or board that oversees operational and fiscal matters;
- Assessing the reciprocal interest of the organization in partnering with Change, Inc. and its level of engagement in the process of building a relationship.
- Determining whether the organization has any specific needs Change, Inc. may be able to directly address.
Current or Past Community Partners:
(NOTE: “Partner” means we completed initial reviews and research of each organization and its aims, finding them compatible with Change, Inc.’s overarching mission and values, and moved to provide tangible and concrete financial or other resources and support to them.)
Urban Harvest STL believes everyone in our community should have equitable access to fresh, healthy food regardless of socioeconomic status, race or location. They grow healthy produce across a network of seven urban farms in the heart of St. Louis and donate the majority of the harvest to nonprofit partners serving communities with limited or non-existent access to healthy, nutritious food. Urban Harvest STL also educates and engages the surrounding community in these efforts.
The Magic House is a St. Louis children’s museum with the mission of engaging children in hands-on learning experiences that encourage experimentation, creativity and the development of problem-solving skills within a place of beauty, wonder, joy and magic. With support, The Magic House provides field trips, outreach programs and other hands-on learning experiences, including some opportunities for special populations including military families, seriously ill youth, special needs youth and foster children.
Empower Nepali Girls exists to empower and support neglected, marginalized, and at-risk girls and young women in Nepal who are vulnerable to childhood marriage, sex slavery, or childhood abandonment. Education is the most effective combatant, and costs just $170/year through grade 9, $800/year for grades 10-12, and approximately $3,000/year for university. ENG provides financial support to cover those costs and subsistence and basic living needs, as well as mentoring and career guidance.
Songs for Soldiers supports STL-metro area veterans who are wounded, disabled, suffering from PTSD, and/or otherwise struggling with the support and resources needed to recover from the literal and figurative scars of combat in practical and important ways. This is primarily achieved through sponsorship and fundraising for their annual benefit concert which features big-name acts and local vendors. Support includes help w/monthly expenses, home improvements, provisions for family, health-related needs, and more.
Girls in the Know (GITK) inspires & empowers St. Louis-area girls to make healthy, confident decisions through the provision of a 4-week empowerment workshop series, led by female professionals in their fields to pre-teen girls (and trusted parents/caregivers they bring with them), on topics ranging from friendships to puberty to safety to bullying to nutrition and exercise. Their approach at reaching pre-teen girls is particularly critical given the crucial developmental point at which that age demographic resides.
Assisi House provides living space for previously unhoused individuals in small, communal settings where each person is treated with dignity and respect. Assisi House has 3 core aims: 1) To keep people safe and warm throughout the winter months (November-March); 2) To create stable, year-round housing meant as a foundation for transition into permanent housing; 3) To provide residents with meaningful relationships as well as access to resources and other services in an effort to bring homelessness to an end.
The 100 Black Men of Metropolitan St. Louis is comprised of a diverse group of men including business executives, community leaders, entrepreneurs, clergy, and elected officials, formed in direct response to the number of young persons of color at risk to for academic and legal issues. The goal is to identify youth who are going to have a turbulent transition to adulthood and offer positive support system to avoid the pitfalls that can derail their lives, with particular focus on Leadership, Education, Health & Wellness, and Economic Empowerment.
The Listening, Inc. is a community where arts advocacy, social justice, and youth mentoring connect, and where young people are encouraged to take notice of the world around them and engage passionately and with purpose. Founder Nick George‘s previous relationship with Change, Inc.’s founder paved the way for a partnership between our organizations. By asking a sole question — “If you had a room full of people willing to listen to you, what would you say?”– The Listening, Inc aspires to be a safe place where young people engage the performing arts to ask questions, develop answers, perform with purpose and change the world around them.
The Access Foundation is committed to providing underserved children in St. Louis ACCESS to educational opportunities with a focus on STEM development. It is an outgrowth of the singular vision of founder, Keithen Stallings, who wanted to provide an easier route for children in his community toward college, vocational, entrepreneurial, and other post-high school opportunities. The Access foundation accomplishes this primarily through student development workshops, college tours, and scholarships, though they are also committed to meeting more immediate and basic needs within the community, such as food assistance, with their frequent food drives.
STEMSTL partners work collaboratively on systems-level solutions to connect schools, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) learning institutions, employers, and family members around high-quality, rigorous STEM learning and workforce opportunities. STEMSTL has particular focus on mapping out and responding to “STEM deserts” in the STL-region (areas whose inhabitants are underrepresented in STEM careers) in the interest of ensuring all young people have access to high-quality out of school STEM learning.
L’Arche International works for the creation and growth of homes, programs, and support networks with people who have intellectual disabilities. It was founded in 1964 when founder Jean Vanier welcomed two men with disabilities into his home in the town of Trosly-Breuil, France. Today, it is an international organization operating 153 communities in 38 countries, and on five continents. L’Arche St. Louis incorporated as a tax exempt 501(c)(3) entity in 2007, and opened their home in Spring of 2011 in what was formerly the convent at Immaculate Conception in Maplewood. They welcomed their first core member in June 2007, and have been a living and breathing L’Arche community ever since, with more members added each year.
Skate Culture STL seeks to ride the wave of cultural skate renaissance in the hopes of encouraging St. Louis residents toward physical health and exercise, as well as community and togetherness, largely through events and advocacy. Featuring local players, makers, and skaters, Skate Culture believes that roller-skating transcends culture, age, and skill level, making it possible to provide unique and memorable experiences that support their primary goals.
The Migrant and Immigrant Community Action Project (MICA Project) is a community organization committed to working with low-income immigrants to overcome barriers to justice. The MICA Project utilizes legal services, organizing, advocacy, and education to promote the voice and human dignity of immigrant communities. They help people with a wide variety of legal issues, including family immigration, naturalization, removal defense, and asylum and refugee issues. This is particularly important as in some cases, individuals with an attorney are four to six times more likely to win their case. The MICA Project strives to make their services accessible for all clients because they believe access to legal services is a basic component of the American commitment to justice.
ST. LOUIS COunseling Locations
Change, Inc. South Kingshighway:
5859 S. Kingshighway Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63109
Change, Inc. South Hampton & 44:
3460 Hampton Avenue, Suite 204
St. Louis, MO 63139
WEEKDAYS: 9a to 5p
Contacts received before 3pm:
- returned the same business day
Contacts received after 3pm or on the weekends:
- returned the next business day
314-669-6242 / 877-5-CHANGE (524-2643)
EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK:
10am to 9pm