New project aims to shrink "quality of life" gap in Columbia

Related Story

COLUMBIA -The city of Columbia is working with community partners to address the wide gap in quality of life in parts of the city.

One facilitator and president of New Chapter Coaching, Carolyn Sullivan, said this project is important to make the city a better place.

"This project is really meaningful to me because this is the city I call home and have for 16 years, and it's about helping people and improving lives. The city's mission is having and living in a city where everyone has an equal opportunity to live and work and play," Sullivan said.

The partners plan to do this by hearing neighbors' opinions on improvements that need to be made in three specific areas in Columbia the city specifically chose due to a study.

"The city looked at a collection of data, and where the greatest need was, and they selected three designated neighborhoods off that information," Sullivan said.

The areas are in the northern, central and eastern parts of the city.

Sullivan said this will be a three-step process.

"We're going to do a series of meetings, we are going to go in the neighborhoods and give neighbors an opportunity to talk about their concerns and how to improve their life. What they would like to see done to improve their lives and reach a consensus," Sullivan said. "The third meeting we are going to talk to them about how they can create action teams and task forces that are neighborhood driven, community led, and what their city can do to help moving forward."

She said she hopes this will project will continue in the future.

"These three neighborhoods would be the first in hopefully what is a pilot of for the city. If change is effectuated in these neighborhoods and peoples lives are improved in the way. The city hopes that this will be a model that is replicated in the city," Sullivan said.

The first neighborhood meeting is expected to be next month.