Three years ago, CSL undertook a different approach to assessing needs in a community . We went directly to the people we served, and we asked them what they wanted, and how we could work together to achieve their goals. That simple act has changed so much about our work.
In CSL's traditional service catchment area of Eastern Jackson County, the Northwest Independence/Sugar Creek area has the highest rates of poverty indicators. Consider these statistics from the 64053 zip code (all courtesy of United States census data):
- Seven out of 10 adults have a high school diploma or equivalent
- The median household income is less than $30,000
- 37% of families live below the Federal Poverty Level, which means a family of four lives on less than $25,000 annually
CSL's Board of Directors' Program Committee set out to study what could be done to improve the economic conditions of this community. As mentioned above, thanks to community development-minded leaders, CSL went to the people in...