Community Partner Spotlight: Living With Purpose

by | Jan 20, 2023 | Funding

We spoke with Kimberly Jones, one of the four founders of Living With Purpose, the first Black-owned behavioral health provider for the Missouri Department of Mental Health. Living With Purpose is an agency dedicated to supporting individuals with disabilities and mental illness; the name reflects their core value that every life has a purpose, and everyone is here for a reason. They consider their facility to be a non-judgement zone in which they try to meet people where they’re at instead of bringing people to where the organization wants them to be.  

Living With Purpose is an education-driven community organization. In addition to services such as providing community housing to those with disabilities, and programming to support those with mental illness and substance use disorder, they offer free training on Narcan, CPR, and First Aid. They are currently crafting a social determinants of health training so that people understand that they are not what they’re born into, and they can change their outcomes and environment. 

Kimberly mentioned the care mothers receive is one of the biggest gaps in St. Louis impacting the health of moms and babies. Many mothers are discriminated against for their circumstances, whether it be for being homeless, having a mental health issue, or even their upbringing. There is a misunderstanding of culture and values specific to African American mothers that prevent them from receiving the proper care they need. Through partnering with FLOURISH, Living with Purpose launched the Supporting Baden Mothers Community Initiative, a program helping single mothers in this community with a variety of services such as transportation, food, clothing, housing, and technology. 

Kimberly expressed that the biggest challenge Living With Purpose encounters is funding and getting access to resources.  She says, “We pull what we can from our own budgets. But it’s never enough. This [behavioral health] problem is not a problem that started overnight, so it’s not going to be resolved overnight, and it’s going to take a lot of funds and resources to even begin to make a dent. You need recovery houses. You need sober houses. You need treatment facilities. You need pharmacies. So that means you need community health workers. You need peer support workers. You need licensed practitioner nurses. You need medical doctors. You need so much in one area to begin to resolve what’s going on.” Kimberly discussed that in order to make a difference, everyone must get involved and advocate for the needs of the community.  She explained that something as small as going to someone’s house and asking them if they need anything makes an impact.  All of us have known someone struggling with a disability, whether developmental, mental, or physical. We must be willing to stand up in order to see tangible change.

Kimberly left us with an important reminder about what brings the community together: “Even though sometimes St. Louis has such a disconnect among each other, when it is time to pull together, you can find a good crowd of people that will pull together. That’s the most beautiful thing is we have so much love for St. Louis, and that’s a commonality between all of us.”

To get involved or contribute, visit

Learn more about Living With a Purpose’s grant funded project, Supporting Baden Mothers Community Initiative. 


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