Join Hands East Saint Louis

Showing Love and Compassion, Affirming and Enhancing Self Respect & Self Esteem,
Providing Opportunities for Recreation, Growth, Education and Empowerment



Join Hands East St. Louis, Inc. is a small, community based not-for-profit organization founded in 1990
to serve children and families in East St. Louis, Illinois.

East St. Louis is one of the poorest cities in America, and 97% of the residents are African American. The population has dropped from a high of 82,000 in the 1950’s to about 27,000, leaving a desolate environment of abandoned buildings and crumbling infrastructure. Pervasive poverty, homelessness, incarceration, violence, drug addiction, and a failing school system create a sense of hopelessness. East St. Louis has one of the highest proportions of households led by women at 70%, and these are the families Join Hands primarily serves.



Past and Current Programs


FAMILY MENTORING

The Dream Path offers friendship and mentoring of parents for the sake of their children's success, using a birth through post college curriculum and relationships as the foundation to make sure children have the tools to succeed.

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TEEN MENTORING

Working with youth ages 14 to 18 from families of intergenerational poverty, the program focuses on increased academic achievement, attainment of high school diplomas, increased employment skills and attainment of employment.

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GIRLS CLUB & BOYS CLUB

Adult volunteers act as ``big sisters`` or ``big brothers,`` to boys and girls, encouraging their self-image and self-esteem, encouraging them to grow and develop in order to reach their full potential and to temporarily take them out of their often harsh environment.

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DREAM PATH PROGRAM

Join Hands taff and volunteers walk with mothers and children as they set goals and expectations for themselves. To achieve their goals, we provide emotional support, mentoring, accountability, education advocacy, and as funding allows school tuition.

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ALTERNATIVE EDUCATION

The families who qualify for our Alternative Education Program are committed to providing a better life for their children through a private school education. Join Hands helps these families pay for tuition and the families participate in our Mentoring Program.

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ATHLETICS

The Join Hands Baseball and Basketball Teams meets weekly with the boys, teaching them how to play and providing them with opportunities for real games and real friendships with the volunteer coaches.

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