The Regional Response Team (RRT) improves the health and well-being of underserved communities by mobilizing the nonprofit, philanthropic, and public sectors to collaboratively address life-threatening crises and system dysfunctions.

The RRT stands ready to respond when our community is in crisis. We are a platform for creating collaborative, innovative solutions to our region’s most pressing problems.


The RRT envisions a St. Louis region where:

  • Collaborative, equitable, and effective responses to life-threatening crises and racial disparities are standard practice.
  • New approaches to partnership transform organizational and systems behaviors in ways that remove race as a predictor of life outcomes.
  • A culture of accountability emerges within the nonprofit, philanthropic, and public sectors that centers community priorities and experiences in decision-making.
  • Marginalized communities, and the organizations that serve them, receive heightened levels of investment and support, eliminating the conditions of vulnerability that imperil their existence.

Core Functions

To generate the community impacts articulated in its vision and powered by its mission, the RRT performs five core functions. It executes these functions through an array of organizational activities in collaboration with social service providers, community stakeholders, and institutional decision-makers. The RRT has no intention of replacing or confusing the region’s existing emergency management infrastructure, nor will it compete for direct service dollars. The RRT will seek to strengthen and amplify existing community relationships and intermediaries however possible.

  1. Strengthening a centralized system of crisis response that deploys critical resources in an efficient and coordinated manner across the bi-state region
  2. Providing support and resources to organizational and community partners that expand their capacity to engage in transformative action that reinforces a culture of community accountability
  3. Bring stakeholders and community members together to address community problems and respond to emerging trends and needs with a variety of flexible tools and capacities
  4. Advocate for the adoption of disparity-reducing policy and system changes as well as process and practice improvements by policymakers, social service providers, and funders
  5. Serving as an information hub that collects, analyzes, translates, and communicates critical information on crisis response and the social determinants of health that is not otherwise available for service providers, policymakers, and the community-at-large

Guiding Principles

Center Racial Equity and Commitment to Anti-Racism

  • Mere recovery from COVID-19 to an unjust baseline is inadequate.
  • Individuals and communities most impacted by long-standing racial discrimination and disinvestment must be the focus of our regional transformation.
  • Economic development in historically disinvested communities must be prioritized.
  • We identify and change white supremacy culture in our organizations (e.g., power hoarding; either/or thinking; perfectionism) identified by anti-racism frameworks like those offered by Tema Okun and others.

Partner Intentionally with Impacted Individuals and Communities

  • Impacted individuals and representatives of impacted communities are part of the decision-making process.
  • We recognize and respect the strengths, assets, wisdom, and resilience in impacted communities and acknowledge the need for resources to support community-based organizations.
  • We hold ourselves accountable for inclusion and make meaningful changes when we fall short.
  • We share our work with impacted individuals and communities broadly and transparently.

Orient Towards Urgency, Solutions, and Coordinated Regional Action

  • We bridge the bi-state region in our activities, recognizing that no single jurisdiction, sector, institution or organization can create systemic change alone.
  • We leverage the unique strengths of individual organizations to contribute to shared goals.
  • We align with existing disaster response (e.g., SLARCC, COADs) in times of crisis.
  • We act with urgency to address needs in and out of moments of crisis.
  • We share our work with impacted individuals and communities broadly and transparently.

Adopt Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Equity Principles

  • Disaggregate data by race, ethnicity, age, disability and other demographics.
  • Identify and address policy gaps while advocating for federal support.
  • Invest in healthcare, public health, and social infrastructure to foster resilience.
  • Establish and empower teams dedicated to promoting racial equity in response and recovery efforts.
  • Include in decision-making the people most affected by health and economic challenges and benchmark progress based on their outcomes.

Who We Serve

The RRT serves the City of St. Louis, St. Louis County, St. Charles County, Madison County, and St. Clair County. Our network includes the nonprofit, philanthropic, and public sectors.

The Regional Response Team is a program of the St. Louis Community Foundation.