St. Louis Promise Zone

Working Towards a Better Future

The St. Louis Promise Zone program partners with local leaders to give communities proven tools to rebuild and put people back to work. The federal program launched in 2013, designates high-poverty urban, rural and tribal communities as Promise Zones in order to increase economic activity, improve educational outcomes, reduce serious and violent crime, invest in transformative development and improve health and wellness.

The Promise Zone, designated in 2015, encompasses portions of the City of St. Louis and St. Louis County. The federally designated areas were reviewed by representatives from several federal agencies and met qualifying criteria. The selected areas have high unemployment, high crime and mortality rates; significant numbers of vacant lots and abandoned buildings; and homelessness. The Promise Zone designation, which lasts 10 years, is a catalyst for ongoing collaboration and change that will drive regional growth and create a better, more inclusive St. Louis region.

The Promise Zone includes parts of North St. Louis City and North St. Louis County.

Demographics of the Promise Zone

Population199,792
Poverty *63%
Households earning <$20,000 per year38%
Population over 25 years of age with no high school diploma19%
Unemployed residents21%
Families that are rent-burdened **61%
Dropout rate7%

* Defined as living 185% below the federal poverty line
** Spending more than 30% of household income on rent alone