Redevelopment Opportunities for Women (ROW)

About ROW

ROW has developed expertise in working with women who have been impacted by poverty, homelessness, and/or intimate partner violence. Poverty, gender, and violence are often interconnected for the families utilizing our services. ROW focuses on the economic and social context in which women find themselves and builds upon their current strengths as women and as parents. It has become clear to us that understanding the unique interconnections between poverty and gender are critical to providing the most successful intervention services.

ROW’s mission is to empower low-income women and their families to build safety, skills, economic security, and hope for the future.

ROW is committed to assisting women reach their potential and build a hopeful future for themselves and their families. We serve women whose opportunities for advancement are often limited. We respect the women we serve and integrate knowledge gained from clients to shape our delivery of services. We also believe it is important to communicate and collaborate with other providers to increase our collective capacity.

ROW’s Economic Action Program

ROW’s Economic Action Program (REAP) provides innovative economic intervention services to low-income women impacted by intimate partner violence. REAP works to promote increased economic security, physical and emotional health, and hope for the future for domestic violence survivors through the provision of economic literacy, economic advocacy, access to individual development accounts, and community outreach and training.

Economic Education and Credit Counseling: A 10-hour group economic education curriculum (REAP) is provided on-site at numerous locations in the St. Louis area. These include either emergency shelter programs or non-residential social service programs serving low income women. The classes cover core financial literacy topics to include budgeting, credit, banking and investing. Assistance is provided in dealing with creditors and an emphasis on safety is provided throughout the curriculum.

REAPEconomic Advocacy and Financial Coaching: On-going economic advocacy is offered to all women enrolled in the economic education group curriculum and individual development account program. All women are assisted with achieving their financial goals through helping them develop an individual economic action plan. This plan details specific steps necessary to become economically secure, including education and employment planning; continuous safety planning; and resource identification and acquisition. The plan also includes steps to begin addressing outstanding debt and other long-term goals, such as asset development. Follow-up advocacy and support services are required for all women who open an Individual Development Account – meeting a minimum of once every other month throughout her savings goal.

Individual Development Accounts: After completing ROW’s REAP curriculum, low-income battered women have the opportunity to apply for an Individual Development Account (IDA). IDAs help women save for assets such as home ownership, career enhancing education, home repair, an automobile, or starting a small business. This is done through a matched savings account in which ROW provides a 1:1 match, with a $3,000 match funds ceiling provided over a two and a half year period. Although there are a handful of non-profit organizations in the St. Louis area that provide IDAs, none of these programs currently reach out specifically to battered women within the community as REAP does.

Multilingual Access Project

The Multilingual Access Project (MAP) has been developed to respond to the needs of non-English speaking survivors of domestic violence and their children, regardless of documentation status. MAP’s mission arose from the belief that basic needs are not special needs, as all survivors of intimate partner violence deserve advocacy and support that is language accessible and validates their cultural worldview.

MAP provides language accessible advocacy and crisis response to women as they access local shelter and non-residential programs. Trained in domestic violence issues, MAP’s Language Advocates provide bilingual and bicultural interpretation in Spanish, Bosnian and Vietnamese. In addition to interpretation, Language Advocates provide the following assistance:

  • Helping women complete various forms and paperwork (e.g. Ex Parte Order of Protection forms; job applications; Legal Services of Eastern Missouri divorce case paperwork; DSS Medicaid plan selection forms; Child Support Enforcement Application paperwork; Disability Application paperwork; and Vocational Rehabilitation pre-intake paperwork; etc.).
  • Assisting women in learning how to use public transportation.
  • Providing assistance with paying bills for those who do not write or read in English.
  • Advocating for women as they address multiple barriers that have interfered with their ability to achieve safety and economic stability.

Family Strengths Program

The Family Strengths Program is designed to improve the overall emotional, physical and behavioral health of low-income women and their children. The program operates from a feminist perspective, focusing on the economic/social context in which women find themselves and building upon their current strengths as women and as parents. ROWThe class component teaches and reinforces techniques which enable women to strengthen family relationships and begin to address the complex issues that have interfered with their ability to create a healthy and safe environment for themselves and their children. The class focuses on a variety of topics, including personal skill development, domestic violence education/prevention, financial education, and health literacy.

In addition to the class component, women are provided with one-on-one counseling and support, time for parents and their children to play and interact together, opportunities for women to engage with each other around various topics, and ongoing advocacy once they have completed the class.

Family Literacy Program

The Family Literacy Program provides adult basic education and opportunities to obtain a high school equivalency. Our program works in partnership with the St. Louis City Public School District and addresses literacy as a family issue that has definite economic ties. Lack of reading, writing or mathematical comprehension negatively impacts earning potential and ultimately results in poverty for an entire family.

The Family Literacy Program incorporates adult basic education with early childhood education, parent training and support, and parent/child interaction activities so that barriers to economic self-sufficiency are decreased and literacy levels and parenting skills are increased. The end result is a stronger, economically self-sufficient family.

How to Register for Classes

Call 314.588.8300 to register for REAP, Family Strengths, or Family Literacy classes. Childcare is provided at many locations for children ages six and under while participants are in class, but registration is required.

Contact Information

Mailing Address
PO Box 806
Saint Louis, MO 63188-0806
City Office
1914 Olive St, Ste 200
Saint Louis, MO 63103-1693
County Office
2709 Woodson Rd
Overland, MO 63114-4817

Download the Redevelopment Opportunities for Women (ROW) Brochure {pdf}