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Projects & Service

Over our 20-year history, PPRC has established itself as the preeminent applied policy research resource for the civic and public communities of metropolitan St. Louis and the State of Missouri. PPRC holds a deep commitment to both Engagement and Service, and responds to the needs and expectations of its constituencies. PPRC has developed the capacity to conduct multi-disciplinary research using a variety of qualitative and quantitative methodologies. PPRC applies its expertise in service to faculty who initiate community-based projects as well as directly to community.

We accomplish our vision by undertaking projects that call upon our core competencies and our specialized areas of operation. Some recent projects include:

ARCHS - online community resource directory
ARCHS contracted with PPRC to research and create a directory of community-based resource organizations in St. Louis City and County, to be utilized by the St. Louis Police Department. The SLPD wanted a product that could provide real time information to officers in squad cars responding to incidents best resolved by a referral to a social service agency rather than police action.
Core Competencies - applied research, demographic analysis, spatial analysis, asset mapping, survey research, communication

Beyond Housing/Neighborhood Housing Services
PPRC received funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and Beyond Housing/Neighborhood Housing Services in a series of projects looking at the issue of homeowner sustainability, including how foreclosure and loss of housing impacts minority and first time homebuyers.
Core Competencies: fair housing, policy analysis, program evaluation, state and local policy

City of O'Fallon Fair Housing Analysis
PPRC partnered with the City of O'Fallon, Missouri to conduct an analysis of impediments to fair housing. The analysis included focus groups of protected class members, interviews, review of local fair housing law and policy. PPRC also recommended action for addressing identified impediments.
Core Competencies: policy analysis, survey research, fair housing, program analysis

Cochran Gardens Hope VI
The Applied Research unit collected baseline data on Cochran Gardens residents' perception of community and supportive services they receive from an agency contracted by the Cochran Redevelopment Partners. PPRC also collected information on the impact of the Hope VI project on the community residents and on commercial development within a one-mile radius of the Hope VI site.
Core Competencies: applied research, survey research, demographic analysis, needs assessment, program evaluation, spatial analysis, housing

Early Learning Opportunity Act (ELOA)
The ELOA project seeks to integrate the early childhood literacy efforts of multiple organizations in the City of St. Louis. PPRC provided the comprehensive evaluation of this effort and of the activities of the various partners.
Core Competencies: early childhood education, program evaluation, applied research, research reports

Empowerment Zone Evaluation
In 2001 the Greater St. Louis Regional Empowerment Zone Management Corporation (GSLREZmc) engaged PPRC to evaluate its management structure and related operations. Throughout the evaluation, Center research staff used standard methods of data collection (document review; observation and interviews).
Core Competencies: applied research, needs assessment, program evaluation

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EPA Environmental Justice
The University worked with Project H.O.P.E. to address environmental hazardous waste issues in three metropolitan St. Louis communities - Emerson Park in East St. Louis, Illinois; Hyde Park in the City of St. Louis; and, Pagedale in St. Louis County, Missouri. Hazardous emission and waste issues had never been addressed from a community perspective, particularly from the perspective of minority communities, and this project made the initial efforts in this area.
Core Competencies: applied research, demographic analysis, survey research, policy analysis, environment

Fair Housing reports in 1996 and 2003
In 1996 and in 2003, PPRC released reports illuminating the impediments to fair housing in St. Louis City and St. Louis County, respectively. The report identified discriminatory practices or effects for the protected classes identified in federal fair housing law: color, disability, familial status, gender, race, religion, and national origin. PPRC collected demographic information, analyzed existing laws and practices, and examined the housing industry.
Core Competencies: applied research, policy analysis, demographic analysis, research reports, housing, communication

Father's Support Center of St. Louis
The Applied Research unit is engaged in an evaluation of a health curriculum currently being promoted by the Father's Support Center of St. Louis (FSC). PPRC is assessing FSC's success in changing client behaviors that may be detrimental to general health. The study will also expand to the client's attitudes towards the healthcare of their children. The funding for this study comes from the Missouri Foundation for Health.
Core Competencies: program evaluation, survey research, research reports, applied research, regional health

Gateway Greening - Whitmire and Crime Studies
PPRC's Applied Research unit developed a targeted research methodology, conducted surveys, and collected secondary data to examine the impact of 55 gardens in the City of St. Louis. The study later expanded to include the analysis of the relationship between community garden areas and changes in community crime rates.
Core Competencies: applied research, demographic analysis, spatial analysis, program evaluation, urban revitalization, housing, real estate

GEAR UP St. Louis
PPRC has been contracted by the UMSL Department of Education to evaluate the GEAR UP program. ,GEAR UP is a federally funded program that is working to significantly increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in post secondary education.
Core Competencies: program evaluation, applied research, needs assessment, education

Human Development Corporation
PPRC prepared a planning document that analyzed major areas of need that are addressed by HDC programs. These categories included Education, Emergency Situations, Housing, Nutrition, Poor Use of Income, Employment, Health and Safety Factors, Welfare Reform, and Neighborhood and Community Influences. For each topic, background information was provided along with existing programs, unmet needs, and recommendations for future planning.
Core Competencies: program evaluation, applied research, needs assessment, education, housing

HUD Counseling Study
The project explored the ways that local home counseling agencies can impact homeownership sustainability. The project conducted a series of interviews with NRC-affiliated organizations nationally as well as in the St. Louis area to determine whether the agencies offer services that could adequately impact the issues involved in sustainability.
Core Competencies: program evaluation, fair housing, needs assessment, real estate

Missouri Development Finance Board
PPRC collected information for a guide to economic development tools prepared for the Missouri Development Finance Board of the Department of Economic Development. PPRC prepared case studies for municipalities in each of the 13 economic development regions in the State of Missouri. The case studies described how economic development projects have occurred in municipalities and identify the benefits that have resulted.
Core Competencies: survey research, program evaluation, regional economy, policy analysis, economic development, tax policy

Rockwood SPF SIG
PPRC provided analysis of the implementation of the Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant (SPF SIG) for Rockwood Drug Free Community Coalition's youth alcohol prevention efforts. PPRC evaluated their efforts, which included a number of prevention-based programs and environmental strategies that seek to reduce the incidence of underage and risky drinking for youth of the ages of 12 through 25 years old in selected neighborhoods in the City of St. Louis.
Core Competencies: spatial analysis, program analysis, demographic analysis, needs assessment, family services, family research

St. Louis Jefferson Solid Waste Management District
For this survey of recycling infrastructure, PPRC collected data regarding solid waste practices in other metropolitan areas in states adjoining Missouri. PPRC researched the legislation currently in place in each metro area to enable and support solid waste recovery, the structure of other solid waste management agencies, the degree of state-level funding, and the types of programming available through state and state-affiliated agencies.
Core Competencies: survey research, program evaluation, policy analysis, environment

St. Louis Lead Protection Coalition
PPRC partnered with the St. Louis Lead Protection Coalition to gather data and provide resources for the Lead Education and Awareness Project. PPRC examined the ways that property owners disseminate information about childhood lead poisoning and the way that renters respond to that information.
Core Competencies: resource development, environment, program evaluation, communications, regional health

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St. Patrick's Center
St. Patrick Center contracted the PPRC's Applied Research Division to evaluate a five-year initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service's Children's Bureau. Project Protect will develop a regional partnership including St. Patrick Center as the lead agency with the Family Court of the 22nd Judicial Circuit, the Children's Division of the Missouri Department of Social Services, the Family Resource Center, and Herbert Hoover Boys and Girls Club. These agencies will collaborate to annually serve 150 homeless and impoverished parents or substitute caregivers with substance-abuse issues or co-occurring disorders and the dependent children involved. These families will be at risk of having the children removed from homes or will have children in foster or substitute care. Project Protect will provide them a comprehensive continuum of care including parent-education classes, addiction treatment, recovery meetings, and case plans identifying recovery and family-stabilizing activities.
The Children's Bureau is requiring each of its grantees to develop and monitor performance indicators to track the implementation of their project. PPRC will examine processes involved in the collaboration as well as the impact of Project Protect's services on the target population's recovery and family unity. This project will be ongoing through 2011.
Core Competencies: program evaluation, needs assessment, applied research, family services

United Way Success by 6 Evaluation
PPRC performed an outcome and implementation evaluation for the Success by 6 program, which is supported by the United Way. Success by 6 was seeking to add more child care centers and education programs for young children in families transitioning from welfare to work.
Core Competencies: early childhood education, education finance, family services, needs assessment, program evaluation

Vision for Children at Risk
The Applied Research unit worked with Vision for Children at Risk to provide an analysis of the St. Louis Children's Agenda. PPRC studied the level of intergovernmental support for children in the City of St. Louis and the ways that new funding strategies could provide additional resources to support child-oriented initiatives.
Core Competencies: early childhood education, family services, program analysis, needs assessment, policy analysis

Voluntary Interdistrict Coordinating Council
This research study compared results from the participating districts in the VICC program with a similar cohort of students in the Saint Louis Public Schools system. PPRC identified key factors in achievement differences between the VICC districts and the SLPS. The study also cataloged differences in the instructional programs to determine what are especially effective strategies in addressing the achievement gap between African-American and white students. Data on student achievement on the MAP was collected and analyzed utilizing multivariate techniques including regression and maximum-likelihood estimation.
Core Competencies: education, survey research, program analysis, education finance

Weed & Seed
PPRC provided analysis of the implementation of the Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant (SPF SIG) for Operation Weed and Seed's youth alcohol prevention efforts. PPRC evaluated their efforts, which included a number of prevention-based programs and environmental strategies that seek to reduce the incidence of underage and risky drinking for youth of the ages of 12 through 25 years old in selected neighborhoods in the City of St. Louis.
Core Competencies: demographic analysis, program analysis, needs assessment, family services, survey research

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