More than 200 people applied, 100 people qualified, and then 50 were randomly selected for Invest STL’s ‘Rooted’ initiative.
“I’m so happy to show people that this can happen. this is not just a dream or something that’s far away that you can’t reach. this is happening in our community, and it’s happening with people that are here,” Star Stinson said.
The initiative gives recipients in the West End and Visitation Park neighborhoods 20-thousand dollars to invest in property, business, or stocks.
Requirements for eligible applicants include living in the neighborhoods since 2016, being African American and making a certain percentage below the median income.
Stinson plans to monopolize her property.
“We’re going to fix this house and then we’ll fix the one that’s next to it.
Then, we have the lot over here that we plan on building something on once these two are completed,” Stinson said.
Invest STL Executive Director Dara Eskridge hopes the money will allow residents to take control of their futures and believes the program could be transformational.
“So much of our broken and dysfunctional practices were born here (St. Louis). it feels like if you can get something right here, then that significantly advances not just St. Louis, but the entire nation.” Eskridge said.
Rooted is focused on helping people stay where they are as new developments emerge.
“They see all of this new activity in the footprint, they see all the interest in the properties here. while that’s great they are worried that it might get to a tipping point where this no longer is a neighborhood meant for them, they’re going to get pushed out or priced out,” she said.
Chuck Flowers remembers riding his bike all over St. Louis and exploring the city as a kid.
As one of the recipients he said he can now stay rooted in the west end for life.
“I’m so glad that i got involved in it whereas i was not so reluctant just hadn’t really taken it in completely and then when i did ok this is going to be good I’m looking at the future,” Flowers said.