HomeGrown StL is dedicated to improving the well-being of Black boys and young men and reimagining the ways in which our communities support their health, academic attainment, employment, developmental opportunity, and transition into adulthood. For Black boys and young men to flourish in St. Louis, there must be a community or village invested in their individual needs. HomeGrown StL will invest in nourishing this St. Louis village and its continual forward development.

A note about language: As researchers and community organizers, the HGStL team sometimes uses the word ‘male(s)’ to describe anyone who self-identifies as a boy or man without dividing the population we serve by age. For more information about the important differences between these and other related terms, and to learn more about sex and gender identity, please visit: https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/gender-identity/sex-gender-identity.


To improve the economic life outcomes of Black boys and young men by serving as a regional intermediary focused on increasing the capacity and effectiveness of the agencies, programs, schools and employers that serve them through strategic regional investments, increased capacity, and new coordination and collaboration standards informed by community science.


HomeGrown StL is a universitybased community science intermediary that brings together multisector providers, governmental officials, planning professionals, citizens, and private-sector partners as St. Louis’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative to:

  • Develop regional and local strategic plans to disrupt dehumanizing care or fragmented care coordination, using life coaches.
  • Provide 7-Pillars of Personalized & Comprehensive Care to help improve the well-being and economic upward mobility of an entire population of black boys and men, ages 12-29 years, in specific Saint Louis geographic areas within a generation, by the year 2040.


To disrupt dehumanizing or fragmented care coordination, using life coach interaction and intervention in neighborhoods, attaining a 100 percent increase in the upward mobility for a generation of Black boys and young men, ages 12–29, in the St. Louis region. HomeGrown StL defines a “100 percent increase” as any positive outcome for a Black boy or young man—as well as their family—that had not previously existed. For example, if a boy is part of a family who has never had a member attend college, that boy attending college would be a 100 percent increase in upward mobility.

Membership [in HomeGrown StL] has benefitted us through the opportunities we’ve had to network with other community-based organizations who are serving minority boys and men. It’s given me an opportunity to sort of model some of their approaches to providing services.

— Erise Williams, Jr., President and CEO of Williams and Associates Inc.