ST. LOUIS – It was “All Hands On Deck” out at O’Fallon Park in north St. Louis on Saturday.  

Resources like utility assistance, recruitment for city jobs and health checks were all set up Saturday for the “All Hands On Deck” community event. City leaders say they’re working to make a positive for underserved community members in St. Louis.

“We’re about helping the community,” Valerie Newbern said. “We are a family-oriented organization. We are here to bring everyone together to provide resources that we need here in the city.” 

Newbern works for the City of St. Louis Department of Health. Her goal is to bring awareness to St. Louisans about communal diseases. While she was there to answer questions, Newbern also brought her 3-year-old niece Aaliyah to the “All Hands On Deck” community event for some fun. The health and resource fair had plenty of games and entertainment like kickball and cornhole.

“Everybody’s so welcoming,” Newbern said. “It’s just positive energy everywhere, dancing, laughing. Children are here and having fun blowing bubbles and just enjoying themselves. It’s really nice. It’s like a big a reunion to me.” 

Volunteers held a fresh food share, allowing people in the community were able to take home boxes of organic produce. Employees with the St. Louis Treasurers Office and the Office of Financial Empowerment were on hand too. They were offering up to $100 per person in parking ticket forgiveness. More than a dozen people benefited from that assistance. 

“We want to provide that resource,” Treasurer Adam Layne said. “With our Office of Financial Empowerment, we have lots of financial resources, helping people improve their credit score, get access to loans that can help them improve their homes, buy a car. We want to make sure they know how to get those.” 

People could also learn about job opportunities, animal care and utility assistance.

“We’re out here telling people to get ahead of your utility bill and get assistance,” Gentry Trotter, founder of Heat Up St. Louis, said. “You can do that at any of our locations or go to heatupstlouis.org. It’s very critical because being without heat is a massive public health and safety issue.” 

People could also receive blood pressure checks or get a COVID-19 vaccine thanks to the St. Louis Department of Health

“You want to be able to go to an event where you can feed your kids, feed your family, have some joy, get to a vaccine, learn a little, but most importantly, start to teach the community about the importance of us banding together to help the community,” Dr. Mati Hlatshwayo Davis, Director of Health for the City of St. Louis, said.

Around 100 people came out to the event held at O’Fallon Park in the 21st Ward. City leaders want to host outreach events like this at least twice a year. The first time they did this was back in May.