Community Focus Report publishes interim update ahead of 20th anniversary
Oct. 26, 2023
Committees update data, report progress from 2021 report
The Community Focus Report for Springfield & Greene County is publishing a 2023 interim update to provide fresh data for community organizations regarding the area’s strengths and challenges.
Dr. Jonathan Groves, facilitator for the report, delivered a presentation about the update and next year’s 20th anniversary report during the Drury University Nonprofit Leadership Conference on Oct. 26 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, Glendalough Conference Center, in Springfield.
As the committees prepare a full update for the report’s 20th anniversary in 2024, they updated key data points for the existing Red Flags and Blue Ribbons from 2021. The 11 updated white papers and a report overview will be available to print on demand at springfieldcommunityfocus.org, the website hosted by the Springfield-Greene County Library District.
Dr. Jonathan Groves, facilitator of the Community Focus Report, previewed the 2023 update at the Drury Nonprofit Leadership Conference on Oct. 26.
Among the highlights:
Springfield and Greene County have made strides in mental health services, with an improving ratio of mental health providers in the area, and unemployment remains low. Median household income has increased, but so have housing costs for many in the community as rents and housing values have risen.
The natural environment — with a focus on clean air and water — continues to be a key asset for the community to maintain steady population growth and economic development. Investments in trails, infrastructure and schools have continued into 2023, and the City of Springfield approved its comprehensive plan, Forward SGF, to guide land use and development into 2040.
As with previous reports and updates, some Red Flags persist, including poverty and family issues including child abuse and neglect. Opioid use has continued to rise, with a growing number of overdoses.
The Community Focus Report is a joint project of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, Junior League of Springfield, Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, Springfield-Greene County Library District and United Way of the Ozarks. The report, typically published biennially, is produced by committees of community leaders and subject-matter experts from Springfield and Greene County that review 11 key topic areas affecting the community and identify Red Flags (challenges) and Blue Ribbons (strengths) for those areas.
Lynne Meyerkord, executive director of the APO healthcare organization and a member of the CFO Board of Directors, chairs the steering committee; Dr. Jonathan Groves, chair of Drury University’s Communication Department, serves as facilitator.