Community Partnership of the Ozarks

Scott Harvey / KSMU

Community Partnership of the Ozarks says it has launched an online tool to help educate those responsible for reporting child abuse and neglect.

Theresa Bettmann / KSMU

The January homeless count found that more than one-third of individuals surveyed locally were unsheltered the previous night. Even with shelter, the number of Springfield families living in poverty is climbing. In the first of a three-part series, KSMU’s Julie Greene examines how officials are trying to make sense of the issue, and the challenge to get them help, even when some are resistant to it.

The Community Partnership of the Ozarks’ Task Force on Gangs and Youth Violence will host a community forum this week examining youth drug use and youth violence issues and how they are interconnected. “Drugs, Youth Violence, and what YOU Can Do,” will be held Thursday night (4/30) from 6 to 8.

According to CPO, the Springfield Police Department will present information about the “dramatic increase in heroin use in our area, overdoses, and the violent and sometimes deadly consequences of this drug.”

Wednesday (4/29) is Denim Day—a day set aside to raise awareness of sexual assault.  Amber Allen, with Community Partnership of the Ozarks, says sexual violence is a prevalent problem in the U.S.

"In the United States, one in five women will be a victim of attempted or completed rape, and three of four victims of sexual assault know their offender.  And between 20 and 25% of women will experience the attempted or completed rape during college," she said.

BrainMaY / Flickr

If you’re a homeowner or business owner in Springfield, you can have graffiti removed from your property for free.

The Community Partnership of the Ozarks is taking requests for an event on May 9th.  The Task Force on Gangs and Youth Violence will coordinate graffiti removal with the help of several area organizations.

So far, 16 sites have been cleaned up, and the CPO says four of those were directly linked to gang activity.