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ABOUT: Connections to Success aims to break the cycle of poverty through hope, resources and a plan, for individuals who either come from backgrounds of generational poverty or incarceration. We have locations in St. Charles, St. Louis and Kansas City, Missouri.

Our Vision:
Be the leader in empowering individuals in their transformation to economic independence.

Our Mission:
We inspire individuals to realize their dreams and achieve economic independence by providing hope, resources and a plan.

Our Promise:
Connecting dreams to reality by providing nationally recognized training to individuals and organizations.

Our Programming Includes:

This holistic program serves individuals transitioning from generational poverty, incarceration, domestic violence and other disadvantaged situations.  The program begins with a Personal & Professional Development Workshop, which teaches workforce readiness skills, cognitive skill building, job placement and retention, health and wellness, financial education, literacy and GED, educational programs (i.e. computer skills), occupational skills and transitional employment.  Each participant completes a life plan to serve as his/her road map for his or her journey to success.  Individual case management is given to each participant throughout this program.

Skills Training
Once participants complete the Personal & Professional Development class, they may choose to engage in a specific skills' training.  Currently, CtS offers culinary, auto-repair and home remodeling skills training.

Transportation can be a barrier for many people on the road to self-sufficiency.  This program gives donated automobiles to individuals currently involved in the Connections to Success' family of programs.

Health & Wellness
A healthy body contributes to all areas of life.  Participants learn healthy eating habits, exercise techniques and more.

All of our programs include a mentoring component, which ranges from formal mentor-mentee relationships, peer-to-peer mentoring and community support.

Dress for Success Midwest
Women transitioning into the workforce who are seeking professional attire are referred by our partner agencies to the Dress for Success Midwest boutiques.  They meet with a personal shopper to receive a suit for job interviews and professional attire to wear to work.

Connections to Success Program Outcomes
Key Program Elements
•     Mentoring
•     Workforce Readiness
•     Skill Building
•     Job Placement
•     Health & Wellness
•     Financial Education
•     Literacy/GED Tutoring
•     Educational Programs
•     Occupational Skills
•     Transitional Employment
•     Interview Preparation
•     Interview Attire (Dress for Success Midwest)
•     Transportation
•     Professional Networking

Target Population We Serve
•     Adults with extensive barriers such as generational poverty and/or incarceration

Program Outcomes
•     74% initial employment rate
•     70% job retention at 9 months following employment
•     82% had earnings increase within 6 months of employment
•     14% recidivism in 12 months after release from incarceration (8% for those in mentoring program)

The Connections to Success Difference
The social value being created by our outcomes include the following:
1.     Reduced number of ER visits
2.     Reduction in food stamp distribution
3.     Reduced Medicaid costs
4.     Reduced government financial assistance (TANF)
5.     Reduced court costs
6.     Reduced probation/supervision costs
7.     Reduced law enforcement costs
8.     Increased home ownership
9.     Increased payments for child support and restitution
10.     Reduced foster care costs
11.     Increased high school graduation rate
12.     Increased community safety

Return on Investment
Social Return on Investment (SROI) defines the social value being created by an organization’s activities and places a financial value on the social value.

Areas of social return:
1.     Reduced number of ER visits
2.     Reduction in food stamp distribution
3.     Reduced Medicaid costs
4.     Reduced government financial assistance (TANF)
5.     Reduced court costs 6. Reduced probation/supervision costs
6.     Reduced law enforcement costs
7.     Increased home ownership
8.     Increased payments for child support and restitution
9.     Reduced foster care costs
10.     Increased high school graduation rate
11.     Increased community safety

Contact: Erin Wolfman