Dream Builders 4 Equity Receives $1 Million Grant to Create Equitable Opportunities for St. Louis Youth and Economically Sustainable Communities in North St. Louis City

Dream Builders 4 Equity (DB4E) announces a five-year, $1 million anonymous grant that will help the nonprofit bring more training, development, and economically sustainable solutions to North City.

The unrestricted grant, made by an anonymous donor through Little Pebble Foundation, a component fund of the St. Louis Community Foundation, will have an enormous impact on boosting DB4E’s ability to expand its reach and depth across the St. Louis region.

“We are so grateful to Little Pebble Foundation for believing in us beyond our wildest dreams,” said Michael Woods, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Dream Builders 4 Equity. “We applied for a $200,000 grant and the foundation recognized our organization’s vision to transform North St. Louis City into a place where the community has the resources to own its own future. The Foundation’s five-year, $1 million commitment is a show of confidence in our youth-centered model of community development.”

Little Pebble Foundation’s grant and commitment to the organization will allow Dream Builders 4 Equity to continue to expand its work transforming the Hyde Park community, currently reaching more than 200 seniors, new home buyers, current residents, minority contractors, and youth per year. By 2025, DB4E aims to employ 250 youth, rehab and sell 25 homes to first time homeowners, provide 25 seniors with free home renovations, and create $4 million in revenue for minority contractors.

“At Little Pebble Foundation, it’s our desire to help underprivileged youth through organizations that educate them in life skills, expose them to new environments, and engage them in collaborative efforts,” said the Little Pebble representative. “We are thrilled to support Dream Builders 4 Equity’s vision for building economically sustainable and socially engaged communities throughout St. Louis. Its innovative approach to community development provides multiple avenues of return on investments in time and money. Cofounders Neal (Richardson) and Michael (Woods) are to be celebrated for their vision, execution and sacrifice.

DB4E’s programming under its 4 Pillar Equitable Development Model includes:

Equity for Youth:

  • Summer Academy & Youth Employment Program: Underserved Black and brown youth (ages 16-24) are provided with personal and professional development training, employment, ongoing mentorship, as well as ownership in the real estate and book publishing programs.
  • Black Squares Chess Program: Offering a range of opportunities for St. Louis city youth ages 6-18 to engage with chess through an after-school program, group lessons and play, and weekend tournaments held across the city and in our up-and-coming Chess Park.

Equity for Residents:

  • Free Home Repairs: Providing free home repairs for seniors in Hyde Park to increase home value and protect against displacement.

Equity for Businesses:

  • Scaling & Expansion of Minority Contracting Businesses: Providing consistent and reliable employment and job opportunities for minority contractors, allowing them to grow their businesses and increase revenue

Equity for Real Estate:

  • Home Rehabilitation Program: Providing youth employment, training, and mentorship as young people work with minority contractors, to rehab vacant homes sold to first-time homeowners.

About Little Pebble Foundation: Little Pebble Foundation is a component fund of the St. Louis Community Foundation, a nonprofit foundation with approximately 800 charitable funds with total assets of more than $502 million. Each fund represents a unique charitable giving partnership between an individual, family, or business and designated nonprofit recipients. The St. Louis Community Foundation inspires purposeful philanthropy that connects community and donors to build and preserve a more equitable and vibrant region, now and forever. Over the last 10 years, St. Louis Community Foundation and its donors made nearly $600 million in grants to charitable organizations.

About Dream Builders 4 Equity: Dream Builders 4 Equity (DB4E) is a St. Louis-based 501(c)3 organization envisioning a world in which all communities have the courage to dream, the skills to build, and the resources to own their future. We believe the foundation of thriving communities lies in equitable resources and opportunities for youth, residents, businesses, and real estate development, which comprise the 4 pillars of our Equitable Development model. Our goal is to tackle the vacant home epidemic plaguing the St. Louis region by hiring minority contractors and high school youth to do large scale community-led developments in neighborhoods that have been historically divested in, growing them into thriving communities where residents have the opportunity to live out their full potential. Visit us at dreambuilders4equity.org and on Facebook and Instagram.