July 17, 2014 Meeting

Meeting Agenda – July 17, 3:30-5:00
Location: KY3 Community Room

I.   Welcome – Greg Burris & Gail Smart
II.  Poverty Simulation Update – Carl Rosenkranz
III. Presentation: Jobs and Workforce Development

  1. Mary Ann Rojas, Missouri Career Center
  2. Sherry Coker, OTC

IV. Questions and Discussion
V.  Adjourn

Commission Attendees:     

  • Greg Burris, Springfield City Manager, Co-Chair
  • Gail Smart, City Center Christian, Co-Chair
  • Ashley French, Junior League
  • Brendan Griesemer, City of Springfield
  • John Horton, Rotary Clubs of Springfield
  • Traci Louvier, Tuthill Vacuum
  • Morey Mechlin, Care to Learn
  • Rob Nelson, Marlin Company
  • John Oke-Thomas, Minorities in Business
  • Francine Pratt, United Way Board of Directors
  • Mary Ann Rojas, City of Springfield
  • Tim Rosenbury, Butler Rosenbury and Partners
  • Cora Scott, City of Springfield
  • Winter Skelton, CFO
  • Mark Struckhoff, Council of Churches
  • Maura Taylor, Health Commission
  • Jamie Trussell, Convoy of Hope


  • Clay Goddard, Springfield-GC Health Dept.
  • Kathryn Wall, Springfield-GC Health Dept.
  • Nancy Hoeman, Springfield-GC Health Dept.
  • David Hall, Springfield Fire Chief


  • Janet Dankert, CPO
  • Trent Sims, CPO

Meeting Notes:

Poverty Simulation Update

In an effort to increase an understanding of what it means to live in poverty, the commission is working with OACAC to host several poverty simulations in Springfield, MO. Winter Skelton reached out to Rotaract. She is still waiting to hear back from Leadership Springfield. Ashley French spoke with the Junior League. Junior League is interested in offering it for credit to their members. Francine Pratt and Greg Burris are responsible for reaching out to the public sector. Convoy of Hope is interested in having their 100+ staff in Springfield go through the poverty simulation. Greg Burris also thought it may be beneficial to create a simulation around the healthcare system that demonstrated what families/individuals in poverty go through. The commission could work with Cox, Mercy, Jordan Valley, and others to create the program.

Presentation from Clay Goddard, Kathryn Wall, and Nancy Hoeman

Social determinants, such as income and geography, play a role in someone’s overall health. The richest 10% of Americans are predicted to live into their 90s, 11 years longer than the poorest 10%. Nationally, the top 10% makes more than $140,000 a year. In Springfield the top 6% make more than $140,000. The bottom 10% of people in Springfield makes less than $10,900 a year. They are also more likely to deal with stress which can add to health issues.

The top safety issues in Springfield that are related to poverty include; car seats, safe sleep and quality childcare. 90% of infants have a back style car seat. However, as the children get older the number of children in the proper car seat drops to 70%. In addition to not having the proper seat, any hand-me-down seats can be damaged or from a missed recall. Safe Kids Springfield used to receive between 200 and 300 car seats from the State. This year they only received 22 and are looking for a grant to purchase 100 more.

Safe sleep is also an issue. 61 babies have died accidently in Springfield. Many families sleep with their child instead of putting them in a crib. When they do this, they run the risk of rolling onto their child and suffocating them. Quality childcare is the third major concern. In 2013, 9.6% of individuals found to have abused a child were the parent’s significant other not biologically related to the child. Single parents are at risk of predators because they may not be able to afford childcare so they may become dependent on someone who poses a safety risk for the child.

Presentation from David Hall, Springfield Fire Chief

“If you could solve poverty, you could virtually eliminate the need for the fire department” (It currently cost about 19 million dollars a year to operate the fire department), Fire Chief David Hall

Nationally, there were 1,375,000 fires or one every 24 seconds, leading to 2,855 deaths in 2012. 381,000 of them were residential fires and 80% of the fire-related deaths occurred at home. The United States has the 2nd highest fire death rate in the industrialized world.

Fire risk is not the same for everyone. The 3 variables that account for 39% of the fires are parental presence, poverty and a lack of education. As parental presence, good education, adequate income and homeownership increase, the fire rate decreases. As poverty, housing vacancy and the age of housing increase so does the fire rate. As income decreases, there is a significant increase in certain types of fires. These fire types include; incendiary/suspicious, smoking, cooking, and children playing with fire. Poor neighborhoods are more vulnerable to the threat of fire because of arson, vacant and abandoned buildings and general neighborhood decline. Poor households are more vulnerable because of the housing quality, the lack of smoke alarms, housing affordability, household structure, issues associated with being elderly and overcrowded households. Poor individuals are more vulnerable to the threat of fire because of an increased rate of careless smoking, alcohol/drug abuse, low levels of education, housing tenure, and issues associated with hoarding and/or severe squalor.

Springfield, MO has around 500 residential fires per year. 78% of them occur in residential structures. The majority of fire calls and EMS responses happen in lower income areas in Springfield, MO. The current EMS system that is established is very costly. Many families without transportation or access to health care will call 911 and request an ambulance. By dealing with many of the issues associated with poverty, we could dramatically reduce the amount of money we are spending on the fire department and EMS.

Meeting Adjourn