March 19, 2015 Meeting


Meeting Agenda – March 19, 2015   3:30-5:00

Location: KY3


  1. Welcome – Greg Burris
  2. Approval of 3-5-15 Meeting Minutes
  3. Update on Poverty Simulations
  4. Community Survey Focus Groups  
  5. Ideas for Community Listen
  6. Review of Draft Report
  7. Adjourn


Greg Burris, Springfield City Manager

Nate Bibens, The Network

Scott Brady, CPO Board of Directors

Cheryl Clay, NAACP Board of Directors

Rob Fulp, Springfield First Community Bank

Justin Harrell, Springfield Public Schools

John Horton, Rotary Clubs of Springfield

Sandy Howard, Springfield Chamber of Commerce

David Jayne, Central Assembly of God

Traci Louvier, Tuthill Vacuum & Blower System

Morey Mechlin, Care to Learn

Marty Moore, Springfield Public Schools

John Oke-Thomas, Minorities in Business

Carl Rosenkranz, OACAC

Winter Skelton, CFO

Mark Struckhoff, Council of Churches

Maura Taylor, Health Commission

Jaimie Trussell, Convoy of Hope

Asher Allman, Center for Community Engagement


Trent Sims, CPO

Myra Massey, CPO

Welcome & Approval of March 5, 2015 Minutes

Greg Burris welcomed members to the meeting and thanked them for attending. He called their attention to the minutes from the March 5, 2015 meeting and asked if there were any corrections or revisions. There being none, he asked for a motion to accept the minutes as presented.

ACTION: John Horton made a motion to accept the March 5, 2015 minutes as presented. Morey Mechlin seconded the motion; motion carried.

Update on Poverty Simulations

Carl Rosenkranz reviewed the status of the poverty simulations:

  • March 26th 8-10am at First Baptist Church with Downtown Rotary Club;
  • April 20th 9:30am-11:30am at North Point Church with North Point Church (possibly);
  • April 23rd 10am-noon location to be determined with Center City Christian Outreach;
  • May 5th 1:00pm-3pm at Kraft Administration Building with Springfield Public Schools; 80 individuals have registered;
  • July 14th 10:45am-12:45pm location to be determined with Greene County COAD.

Seventeen simulations have been completed or are scheduled as a result of the Commission’s efforts. At this point, OACAC has completed or scheduled 26 simulations this fiscal year, exceeding its contract goal of eight. He asked them to please remember that at least 35 participants are needed to make the exercise worthwhile and to advise Meghan of the number of people three business days before the simulation.

A complete report was provided with the meeting packet.

Discussion was held regarding promoting awareness and participation for the simulations:

  • Bring people together who are not acquainted
  • Promote competition among businesses
  • Bring awareness of poverty issues to business leaders by educating them about how much doing nothing is costing the community, and consequently, their businesses
  • Challenge a number of businesses to send two or three staff members to form a larger group for a simulation and take the message back to their work places

Community Focus Groups

Several members of the Commission expressed an interest in participating in a focus group to concentrate on several challenges identified by the Community Services Survey 2015. Greg asked that anyone interested in serving on a focus group indicate this by signing the sheet that was passed around. Dates have not yet been scheduled.

Ideas for Community Listen

Greg introduced a draft for “Community Listen” sessions that will include representatives from the City of Springfield, CPO, CFO, SPS, faith-based organizations, and area businesses. Open forums are planned to allow Springfield residents to share their thoughts on the needs of their neighborhoods and how to improve the quality of life in those neighborhoods. Discussion followed regarding:

  • Who should issue the invitation? (City Manager, Fire Chief, Police Chief, School Superintendent/Principal, faith leaders, etc.)
  • Should the meetings be community specific? (By school zones, by neighborhoods, etc.)
  • How would meeting locations be determined? (At schools, at churches, etc.)
  • How should the invitations be worded?
  • What kinds of incentives could be used to encourage people to attend? (Food, gift cards, etc.)
  • How can social media be used?

After gathering information from the focus group participants, the Commission will develop a responsive plan to be put into action over an 18 month period and, at the end of that period of time, create a survey to determine if there have been changes in perceptions.

Review of Draft Report

At the March 5th meeting, a draft report was shared, reviewing, among other things, the Commission’s processes, strategies, and current status of trends of poverty in the community. At today’s meeting, Greg provided an update of that draft, incorporating feedback received at the March 5th meeting. Issues and recommendations were organized using eight major categories highlighted by Dr. Ruby Payne in her books about poverty: Financial; Emotional; Mental, Spiritual; Physical; Support Systems; Relationships/Role Models; and Knowledge of Hidden Rules. Two aspects of healthcare were chosen for discussion at today’s meeting:

Mental Health

Inventory/Current Status: Discussion considered these issues among others;

  • Shortage of psychiatric physicians
  • Shortage of psychiatric inpatient beds
  • Population of homeless with psychiatric problems
  • No ability for follow-through treatment
  • Self-medicating may lead to drug and alcohol abuse
  • Insurance deductibles for mental health care are higher
  • What is the cost to the community of doing nothing?

Cause or Symptom:

  • Discussion determined mental health issues can be both a cause of poverty and a symptom of poverty

Tension Points:

  • Differing definitions of mental illness
  • Social stigma
  • Lack of understanding how resources relate to mental illness
  • Abuse of drugs and alcohol
  • Lack of understanding the full scope of mental illness (clinical depression/schizophrenia/ etc. vs. poverty-related stress issues and how stress affects brain chemistry)
  • Changing the way social services are managed
  • Cost of overnight sheltering vs. Housing First (housing with wrap-around services)

Physical Health

Inventory/Current Status

  • Few primary care physicians in the area
  • Lack of access to care including dental care
  • Transportation

Cause or Symptom:

  • Can be either cause or symptom. If you cannot work because of an illness, poor physical health can follow without a way to get care

Tension Points:

  • Too many trips to the emergency room
  • Catastrophic illness can send a person into bankruptcy even with a job and insurance

Trent recommended looking at best practices in other cities that have taken on the challenge of long-term solutions to assist the under-resourced. The Evergreen Coop in Cleveland and the Jeremiah Program in Minneapolis are two examples of projects that are working.

As Greg adjourned the meeting, he reminded them to continue considering the cost of doing nothing.

The next meeting will be April 2, 2015, 3:30 p.m. at Community Foundation of the Ozarks, 425 E. Trafficway.