The Start of Annie Malone
In 1888, a group of concerned women led by Sara Newton Cohron, raised community concern for the welfare of neglected and orphaned children. The first location of the St. Louis Colored Orphan’s Home was 1427 North 12th Street. In 1905, the Home moved to a site on Natural Bridge Avenue. In 1910, the first May Day Parade was held. Today, the parade has grown to be the second largest African-American parade in the country. It serves as the agency’s largest major fundraiser and includes an outstanding celebration of fundraising events in May (Community Barbecue, Soiree & Silent Auction, Gospel Concert Explosion, Parade and McDonald’s Blues Fest) for family and friends. Thanks to the generosity of Annie M. Turnbo Pope Malone, the Home moved to a permanent location in 1922 to 2612 Goode Avenue in the Historic Ville Neighborhood. In 1924, the Home became a member agency of United Way of Greater St. Louis.
Malone was the founder of Poro College and a pioneer manufacturer of cosmetic products. She served as President of the Board of Directors of the St. Louis Colored Orphans’ Home from 1919 to 1943. In tribute to her loyalty and dedication to the Home’s goals, it was renamed in her honor in 1946 to Annie Malone Children’s Home.
The building of the new facility, along with the Board of Directors’ emphasis on Annie Malone Children’s Home being responsive to the needs of children, laid the ground work for the Home to become and remain an important and viable social service provider in the greater St. Louis community.
In the 1950s, many of the ethnic orphanages were closed or merged with other organizations. Not so for Annie Malone. It continued to serve as a refuge for orphans and continued to provide residential placements at 2612 Goode Avenue for the next thirty years.
Annie Malone's Evolution
In the 1980s, in response to changing community needs, Annie Malone expanded its services and programs to the addition of two facilities which continued its mission of helping children
grow into independent, positive-minded adults. The Boys Group Home was opened on Kennerly Avenue for males 14 years of age and older. The Family Crisis Center was opened and provided crisis nursery and respite care for children at risk of abuse and neglect.
In 1986, Goode Avenue was changed to Annie Malone Drive in honor of Annie M. Turnbo Pope Malone. Later in the 1980s, Annie Malone Children’s Home started a capital fundraising campaign to renovate the old Homer G. Phillips School of Nursing Facility at 2516 Annie Malone Drive into a residential facility capable of housing at minimum 100 children, as well as house other agency programs.
In the 1990s, Annie Malone completed the renovation project and opened the Residential Care Facility. Annie Malone’s small therapeutic school program was moved to the newly renovated building and was named “Emerson Academy” in honor of Emerson Electric, a major donor to the capital fundraising campaign.
During the 1990s, the State of Missouri requested that Annie Malone implement a program that worked with families whose children were at risk of being placed in foster care. Annie Malone fulfilled the state’s request with its Family Reunion program. Annie Malone also implemented the Family Focus program as part of its residential contract with the State of Missouri. The program provided a variety of support services designed to help meet the needs of children and families, over a nine-month period, and reunite children with their families.
In 1993, Annie Malone Children’s Home became Annie Malone Children and Family Service Center in response to the growth and diversity of the Home’s services.
Annie Malone Today
Later in the 1990s, Annie Malone and its administrative staff helped to form the Northside Consortium, an eleven member organization comprised of churches and other social service agencies. The Consortium’s purpose was to help families affected by the passage of the new Welfare to Work Act of 1996.
In the 2000s, with the help from Senator Chris Bond, Annie Malone opened up the Annie Malone Day Care and Respite Center at the Prince Hall Building on North Newstead. Annie Malone also ventured into the social entrepreneurial business by planning and implementing its food preparation service, Annie M. Fine Cuisine. The program provided food services for the children in both the residential and academic program.
In 2004, Annie Malone Children and Family Service Center entered into a partnership with the Deaconess Foundation, called the Deaconess Impact Partnership. This partnership was designed to assist the agency in building its infrastructure over a five year period (2004-2009). Key components of the plan included Board Governance, Resource Development, Human Resource Development, Public Relations and Marketing, Information Technology and Strategic Planning. After 27 years of administrative reign, Mrs. Jean P. Neal, Chief Executive Officer, retired in 2005. Annie Malone Children & Family Service Center welcomed Richard L. King, as the new Chief Executive Officer.
Consistent with the capacity building partnership begun with the Deaconess Foundation, a Resource Development Department was established and efforts were focused on revitalizing community support, identifying more diverse revenue sources and clearly aligning the identity of the agency with its mission to, “Improve the quality of life for children, families, elderly and the community…”.
The parade route for the Annual May Day Parade was changed to travel east on Market Street starting at 20th and Market and continuing to Broadway. The African American Consumer Market of McDonald’s, representing McDonald restaurants of St. Louis and East St. Louis helped establish the McDonald’s May Day Blues Fest. The Blues Fest follows immediately after the parade in Kiener Plaza and has established itself as the place to be after the May Day Parade.
In 2006, Annie Malone made good use of additional space at the Day Care Center located in the Prince Hall building at the corner of Newstead and Carter. Annie Malone reduced the number of children in the residential program and moved out of the towering 5-story building that was formerly the Homer G. Phillips Nursing School. The combined facility housed children between the ages of birth and eighteen years as well as the Crisis & Respite Care Program.
In 2007, the agency was re-accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA), an international nonprofit agency reviewing the competency of social service agencies across the country and all over the world. The certification comes as the result of an extensive examination of best practice standards and program operations and outcomes. Certification extends to 2010 when the process is repeated to insure continuous quality improvements to programming. To assist with this process, the agency has implemented a Continuous Quality Improvement model to ensure compliance with accreditation standards.
Later that year, Annie Malone welcomed an opportunity to operate food services in the St. Louis City Hall (on the lower level, Room 18A) and opened with the grand opening of the Annie M. Café at City Hall. It allowed the agency to be consistent with its strategic plan, to expand its Annie M. Fine Cuisine catering service out side the confines of the agency and benefit from the additional location. It would also serve as a training site for the life skills and personal development component provided to individuals becoming self-sufficient.
In early 2008, the agency revitalized the Transitional Living Program which assists older youth as they age-out of the foster care system. In an effort to increase the capacity of residential intake, a new building affectionately dubbed, “Annie’s Place” was purchased at 5355 Page Blvd. The residential facility provides Crisis Nursery/Teen Crisis Intervention and Respite Treatment services. In late November of 2008, Annie Malone was fortunate enough to add a second café, Annie M’s Seventh Story Café at the Carnahan building. Although, both cafés provided great visibility for the agency and was implemented to be additional sources of revenue, building greater self-sufficiency as a non-profit agency, it was eventually determined by the Board of Directors in the later part of 2009 that City Hall’s cafe had not met the financial goals as it had projected and operations closed. Alongside this decision, Annie Malone’s Day Care program was discontinued.
At the beginning of the 2009-2010 school year, Emerson Academy Therapeutic School began instructing students in its new home, in the rear of Annie’s Place. The Transitional Living Program moved its group home to a new site hailed, Malone House, located at 5341 Page Blvd, neighboring the center’s residential facility. In mid 2010, the second café ended operations under the decision of the Board of Directors.
Annie Malone Children and Family Service Center has earned reaccreditation from the Council on Accreditation.
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