Community Partnership of the Ozarks

Scott Harvey / KSMU

A new study finds that Missouri ranks 26th when it comes to child well-being, an improvement of three spots from the previous year. The report is part of the 2015 Kids Count Data Book released Tuesday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Thomas McFarland

Where do you go when you are still in high school and homeless? For many local teens the answer is the Rare Breed Drop-in Center in downtown Springfield. For Lecerius Hall, this was a shelter from a step dad who was involved in illegal substances and abused his mother. Rare Breed offered a place to “cool off and have someone to talk to about problems at home.”

Many teens in the Ozarks have had to resort to shelters and transitional homes like Rare Breed to avoid living on the streets and to find a support system that will believe in them.

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.”