The Missouri Department of Economic Development awarded a total of $400,000 in Youth Opportunity Program (YOP) tax credits to Saint Louis Counseling and St. Francis Community Services, each receiving $200,000 in funding for their respective nonprofit agencies. The organizations are two of eight nonprofit agencies that make up the Catholic Charities of St. Louis Federation.
Tax credits awarded through YOP help nonprofit organizations raise private-sector funds by providing partial state tax credits to businesses and individuals that make contributions to approved youth development projects.
“Helping to create greater opportunities for Missourians to prosper is essential to the health and vitality of local communities and economies,” said Missouri Department of Economic Development Director Rob Dixon. “Equipping nonprofits, like Saint Louis Counseling and St. Francis Community Services, allows the organizations to assist at-risk individuals within their communities. Those people can then use the skills they’ve developed to contribute to society.”
Since 1912, the Catholic Charities of St. Louis Federation has worked to improve social conditions for Missourians in the St. Louis metropolitan area. Last year alone, more than 103,500 people benefited from services provided by the nonprofit agencies within the Catholic Charities of St. Louis Federation.
Saint Louis Counseling – one of the eight nonprofit agencies within the federation that received $200,000 in YOP tax credits this year – provides professional counseling and psychiatric services to support healing and improved mental health to clients. Saint Louis Counseling’s YOP tax credit award will be directed toward its early intervention program, which offers office and school-based clinical counseling and psychiatric care to at-risk youth free of charge.
“The impact that the YOP tax credits make on kids’ lives is immeasurable,” said Saint Louis Counseling Executive Director Tom Duff, MSW, LCSW. “This program provides much-needed funding for children and teens to get early intervention for mental-health conditions or mental illness. If we can empower kids with the tools and skills they need for healthy emotional, behavioral and mental health early, the greater their chances will be for success in school now and later on in life with jobs, social situations and within their families.”
St. Francis Community Services – one of the eight nonprofit agencies within the federation that also received $200,000 in YOP tax credits this year – helps individuals overcome poverty by providing legal aid, youth programs, bilingual mental health counseling and case management. St. Francis Community Services’ YOP tax credits will be used to fund a bilingual youth activity center serving impoverished, at-risk immigrant children, by providing tutoring, arts and crafts, dance, music and sports.
“Thanks to the YOP tax credit award, we will expand our program to add activities for older immigrant youth,” said St. Francis Community Services Executive Director Karen Wallensak. “We will take high school students on tours of local colleges, for example, to spark interest in higher education, which could change the trajectory of their lives forever.”
To learn more about the Catholic Charities of St. Louis Federation and its other agencies, visit www.ccstl.org.
About the Youth Opportunity Program:
Each year, the Missouri Department of Economic Development’s Youth Opportunity Program (YOP) partners with nonprofit organizations to help thousands of at-risk youth overcome barriers to a healthy, successful life and realize their full potential as citizens. For more information about YOP funding opportunities and eligibility requirements, visit www.ded.mo.gov/programs/community/YOP.