Specialists help Columbia neighborhoods survive and thrive

8 months 3 weeks 1 day ago July 06, 2016 Jul 6, 2016 Wednesday, July 06 2016 Wednesday, July 06, 2016 9:36:00 PM CDT in News
By: Sheila Wang, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - Two Columbia neighborhood specialists have met more than 100 families in the central neighborhood in the past two months. They've found most of people are "satisfied" with their lives despite being poor.

The city hired Glenn Cobbins and Judy Hubbard as part of the effort to implement the 2016-2019 strategic plan.

Assistant City Manager Carol Rhodes said, "This plan has really focused on improving the lives of all Columbia citizens, not just one area. We want all residents to thrive."

Cobbins and Hubbard are responsible for determining the needs in the three focused neighborhoods: Central in Ward 1, north neighborhood in Ward 2 and east neighborhood in Ward 3.

They've met with almost 10 percent of the roughly 1,400 households in the central neighborhood so far.

"I love this because, instead of the government telling the people what they think they need and what they're going to do, they are asking them what do you need to survive and thrive in Columbia," Hubbard said.

She said residents love to share their lives with them and each interview would take about one hour.

Hubbard said their questions cover a wide range of issues including employment, housing, medical care, education and counseling.

2010-2014 data shows the household median income in central neighborhood is $30,060, well below the city median, which is $43,776. Nearly 60 percent of families participated in the free/reduced lunch program in 2013.

However, Hubbard said their lives are about more than numbers.

"They consider themselves rich in friends, in their faith, and in the things that they're able to do. And yet they can't pay their bills," she said.

Hubbard said two key issues need to be addressed: "Employment and helping our young people who are so capable in this neighborhood."

Hubbard and Cobbins report their assessment back to the city council.

Rhodes said, "We take assessment and the social workers at the health department go through and make referrals based on the needs of the residents."

Hubbard said there won't be changes overnight, but it's a beginning.

Cobbins agrees. He said he wanted to help people through his own experience as a former drug dealer.

He said he used to be "a person on the street, a poor person, a person of color, a person has been shot, in prison, a criminal."

"Try to help the people in the situation that I put myself in, maybe I can get them out, maybe I can demonstrate the highest moral standard that person could live by," Cobbins said.

He said the most important thing is to build trust among the area citizens.

"We can build that bridge, close that gap between the city government and people," Cobbins said.

Cobbins and Hubbard have only been working on the project for a few months, but  community outreach is not new to either of them.

They've been working together to help people through the Imani Mission Center since 2000.

Cobbins and Hubbard founded the center to help at-risk youth and low-income families in the community. The center was closed last year.

"It's your heart. It's what you do. It was just a blessing because we could continue to serve the people we love and need the help," Hubbard said.

The two will soon start to visit the east and north neighborhoods.

 

 

More News

Grid
List
INDEPENDENCE (AP) — A suburban Kansas City police office is hospitalized after being injured in a confrontation after short car... More >>
15 minutes ago March 29, 2017 Mar 29, 2017 Wednesday, March 29 2017 Wednesday, March 29, 2017 1:56:10 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Lawmakers are advancing a proposal to ban Missouri cities and counties from using red-light cameras. ... More >>
22 minutes ago March 29, 2017 Mar 29, 2017 Wednesday, March 29 2017 Wednesday, March 29, 2017 1:48:48 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Chuck Berry fans will have their chance to pay their respects to the late rock 'n'... More >>
26 minutes ago March 29, 2017 Mar 29, 2017 Wednesday, March 29 2017 Wednesday, March 29, 2017 1:45:11 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Only one state spends less per capita on its public defender system than Missouri: Mississippi. That could... More >>
2 hours ago March 29, 2017 Mar 29, 2017 Wednesday, March 29 2017 Wednesday, March 29, 2017 11:27:00 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The Missouri House has passed a proposal to spend roughly $242 million more than planned this... More >>
2 hours ago March 29, 2017 Mar 29, 2017 Wednesday, March 29 2017 Wednesday, March 29, 2017 11:23:07 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Department of Social Services Acting Director Jennifer Tidball said Missouri still is giving money to Planned... More >>
4 hours ago March 29, 2017 Mar 29, 2017 Wednesday, March 29 2017 Wednesday, March 29, 2017 9:49:00 AM CDT in News
FERGUSON (AP) — Police in Ferguson, Missouri, are investigating after a private security guard shot an armed man at the... More >>
4 hours ago March 29, 2017 Mar 29, 2017 Wednesday, March 29 2017 Wednesday, March 29, 2017 9:47:37 AM CDT in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A man has been sentenced to life in prison in connection with the 2014 southwestern Missouri shooting... More >>
4 hours ago March 29, 2017 Mar 29, 2017 Wednesday, March 29 2017 Wednesday, March 29, 2017 9:42:50 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Four St. Louis officers are suspended without pay amid internal and criminal investigations over whether they... More >>
4 hours ago March 29, 2017 Mar 29, 2017 Wednesday, March 29 2017 Wednesday, March 29, 2017 9:36:25 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA- Columbia Solid Waste Utilities will open its Hazardous Household Waste Facility Saturday. Columbia residents can drop off their... More >>
6 hours ago March 29, 2017 Mar 29, 2017 Wednesday, March 29 2017 Wednesday, March 29, 2017 7:18:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The Family Access Center for Excellence, or FACE , is working to help more families in Boone County... More >>
16 hours ago March 28, 2017 Mar 28, 2017 Tuesday, March 28 2017 Tuesday, March 28, 2017 9:55:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The U.S. House voted to repeal a set of Obama-era consumer protection rules Tuesday. The move lets Internet... More >>
16 hours ago March 28, 2017 Mar 28, 2017 Tuesday, March 28 2017 Tuesday, March 28, 2017 9:18:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Members of Missouri's House Budget Committee want to make records of elected officials' flights on the... More >>
17 hours ago March 28, 2017 Mar 28, 2017 Tuesday, March 28 2017 Tuesday, March 28, 2017 8:52:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A bill looking to remove construction worker payment restrictions on contractors is moving along in the capitol... More >>
19 hours ago March 28, 2017 Mar 28, 2017 Tuesday, March 28 2017 Tuesday, March 28, 2017 7:09:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Crews responded to a vehicle fire on northbound Highway 63 in Columbia around 6:30 Tuesday evening, just south... More >>
19 hours ago March 28, 2017 Mar 28, 2017 Tuesday, March 28 2017 Tuesday, March 28, 2017 7:09:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Federal prosecutors allege that two Kansas City men killed a man after kidnapping him and attempting... More >>
19 hours ago March 28, 2017 Mar 28, 2017 Tuesday, March 28 2017 Tuesday, March 28, 2017 6:49:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Missouri appeals court panel said utility regulators had no authority to grant conditional approval for... More >>
20 hours ago March 28, 2017 Mar 28, 2017 Tuesday, March 28 2017 Tuesday, March 28, 2017 6:08:00 PM CDT in News
BUNCETON - A water leak that occurred around 5 p.m. on Tuesday forced the city to turn off the water... More >>
20 hours ago March 28, 2017 Mar 28, 2017 Tuesday, March 28 2017 Tuesday, March 28, 2017 5:49:00 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 53°
3pm 60°
4pm 63°
5pm 65°
6pm 65°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

2:00p
The Dr. Oz Show
3:00p
Dr. Phil
4:00p
Jeopardy!
2:00p
Judge Alex
2:30p
Judge Alex
3:00p
The Robert Irvine Show

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Blindspot
8:00p
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
9:00p
Chicago P.D.
7:00p
Arrow
8:00p
The 100
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld