US Census Bureau reports the current poverty rate of Stone County at nearly 15 percent and Taney County at nearly 18 percent. Based on those percentages, almost 15,000 people in the area live below the federal poverty line–$12, 140 for a household of one or $25,100 for a family of four.
The Missouri Foundation for Health (MFH), a private foundation that seeks to improve the health and lives of Missourians, came to Taney County looking for rural project opportunities a little over a year ago, Christian Action Ministries brought this need to their attention. MFH took a deep interest in what it would like to address the challenge. They asked Christian Action Ministries to bring together community leaders to develop a plan.
“How can you know what to address without truly knowing your weaknesses and strengths?”
The research includes not only Taney County but Stone.
Moore Strategic Consultants, out of Brentwood, Tennessee, is contracted to assist in this evaluation. The Moore firm has facilitated numerous similar projects across the nation, including some reliant upon the leisure and travel industry.
Phase 1 September-December 2018 (Data Collection & Analysis )
Phase 2 January-March 2019 (Community Input, Site Visits)
Phase 3 April-October 2019 (Direction & Action Planning)
Phase 4 November 2019-September 2020 (Final Drafting of Report, Final Report Presentation)
“For generations, God has used the Ozark Mountains as a beacon of hope and a ‘light on a hill.’ We see Him, again, at work in our land,” states Elizabeth Hughes, Executive Director for CAM.
Organizers of the initiatives welcome the community to get involved three ways initially: 1. By bringing awareness to the issue of poverty and its effects in Stone and Taney Counties; 2. By supporting existing agencies and ministries doing good works on the front lines today; and 3. By joining the initiatives in their efforts as they identify needs.
Funding for this project was provided in whole by Missouri Foundation for Health. The Foundation is a resource for the region, working with communities and nonprofits to generate and accelerate positive changes in health. As a catalyst for change, the Foundation improves the health of Missourians through a combination of partnership, experience, knowledge, and funding.