Covenant House Missouri Announces New Leadership; Looks Forward to the Next Decade of Success

As Covenant House Missouri (CHMO) aims to serve more homeless youth in the St. Louis region, it announces new strategic leadership with Jessica Erfling as Chief Executive Officer and Bridget Jones as Director of Advancement. 

“I’m honored that the Board of Directors and Covenant House International have placed their faith in me to lead the great work that Covenant House Missouri does for youth in our community,” Erfling said. “I look forward to partnering with the board, staff and greater St. Louis community to advance our mission and support youth on their journey from homelessness to hope.”

“Jessica is passionate about improving the lives of Missouri youth,” said Jon Nienas, Board of Directors Chair. “We are impressed by her results-driven perspective and dedication to serving youth in need. I look forward to the impact she’ll make across our organization, and ultimately for Missouri’s young people.”

During her four years as Chief Operating Officer at Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri, Erfling guided the organization to results including: substantial growth to become the sixth largest Girl Scout Council out of 112 Councils nationwide; doubling resident camp enrollment; and significantly increasing community collaboration and investment. Prior to that, Erfling served as Vice President of Operations for Sunnyhill, Inc, an organization that provides residential support, recreation and educational opportunities for youth and adults with a range of disabilities. 

Erfling received her MSW from St. Louis University and BA from Southern Illinois University. She also serves on the Board of Directors’ Executive Committee for Rainbow Village, a community non-profit, providing neighborhood homes for people with developmental disabilities in the St. Louis area.  

“Jessica is a respected, strategic leader in the St. Louis community with a demonstrated commitment and passion for supporting young people and opening doors to opportunity,” said Kevin Ryan, President of Covenant House International.

Also new to CHMO, Bridget Jones joins Erfling as Director of Advancement and a member of the organization’s leadership team. Jones’ brings an extensive background in nonprofit management to her new role. Jones not only formed, but also ran for 12 years, Innovative Education Concepts, an organization that provides workforce development programs in St. Clair County. Her team also raised more than $120 million for the Archdiocese of St. Louis, Roman Catholic Foundation of Eastern Missouri as a consultant with Changing Our World, a firm that works with national and international nonprofit organizations. Jones is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc – Gamma Omega graduate chapter. 

With these additions, CHMO aims to expand its impact and strengthen its relationships across the St. Louis community, ultimately serving more homeless teens with the emotional, educational, employment and housing support for long-term stability and independence.  

About Covenant House Missouri

CHMO is part of an international agency started in New York City in 1969 that provides services to help homeless, runaway and at-risk youth ages 16 to 21. CHMO offers 24-hour crisis services seven days a week, plus long-term residential opportunities. Youth are provided a safe, secure environment where they are relieved of the stressors of homelessness. Through physical, emotional and mental support, youth needs are met, and a plan is developed to assist them out of crisis and into stability.

KATHERINE BRANCH