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St. Louis County human services director leaves for regional COVID response coalition

St. Louis County human services director leaves for regional COVID response coalition

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Andrea Jackson Jennings

Andrea Jackson Jennings

ST. LOUIS COUNTY — The longtime head of St. Louis County’s social services is leaving to become managing director at a regional coalition of agencies responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Andrea Jackson-Jennings has been director of the St. Louis County Department of Human Services since 2011, overseeing the county’s various social services programs under three administrations.

Jackson-Jennings will become managing director of the Regional Response Team, a coalition of area nonprofits, public social services departments and charities that links residents in need with assistance.

The group operates in St. Louis and St. Louis, St. Charles, Madison and St. Clair counties. Jackson-Jennings said the new role provides an opportunity to do similar work with a larger reach, according to a county news release.

Jackson-Jennings began working for the county in 2007 when she was hired by then-County Executive Charlie Dooley to work on constituent outreach.

She became director of the county’s Human Services department in 2011. Her salary last year was $125,008.

The department, with more than 70 employees, runs programs offering housing, mental health, youth enrichment, community development and workforce training services.

The department also provides assistance to low-income families, older adults, people with disabilities, veterans and survivors of domestic violence.

“This has been one of the most rewarding positions I’ve had,” Jackson-Jennings said, “Human Services is the social services arm for St. Louis County, ensuring our residents get the programs and services they deserve, that they can meet their basic needs. This department allows them to do that.”

Jackson-Jennings had also served on county boards and commissions, including the County Charter Commission, a 14-member panel that met through 2019 to consider changes to the county charter.

In a statement, County Executive Sam Page said Jackson-Jennings “has been a great champion for our residents, especially during this pandemic, connecting them to emergency rental assistance, utility assistance, food distribution events and working with our community partners to provide as much help as possible during this very challenging time.”

Before being named to her new position with Regional Response, Jackson-Jennings was on the group’s 28-member steering committee, which included representatives of health care systems, charities, local governments and advocacy groups in the area.

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Reporter covering breaking news and crime by night. Born in Algeria but grew up in St. Louis. Previously reported for The Associated Press in Jackson, Mississippi and at the Wichita Eagle in Wichita, Kansas.

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