How We Live Together - Relates to goals on human relations and diversity; youth and seniors; family and housing issues; crime, drugs and public safety; and health, wellness and health care delivery.

  1. Human Relations and Diversity
    Our Goal: A community of involved people, who in the spirit of unity are proud and confident of their diversity and committed to the success of each and the excellence of all.

    Recommended Strategy: Establish a human relations commission to improve race relations and communications at city and county levels, and wherever there is a need for it.

    Recommended Action to Begin Implementing the Strategy: Make a proposal to the elected officials recommending that they oversee implementation of a Human Relations Commission in each city/county of the five-county River Region.

    Return Expected for Our Region: Effective system for communication on diversity issues, benefiting everyone.

    Other Strategies to Accomplish Our Goal:

    • Establish an organized and effective system (such as Interchange groups) for communication on diversity issues.

    • Establish a community leadership academy to help identify roadblocks that divide people culturally, socially and economically and to prepare candidates for positions in government and schools.

    • Include “Teaching Tolerance” materials in the public school curriculum, along with information on conflict resolution, and create multiracial and cross-cultural events in schools, churches and businesses to promote mutual respect and understanding.

    • Develop programs and incentives to end white flight from integrated neighborhoods, schools, businesses and organizations.

  2. Health/Wellness/ Healthcare Delivery
    Our Goal: A region that values and invests in the health and wellness of every urban and rural citizen, knowing that affordable, accessible, comprehensive, state-of-the-art health care facilities and service are available.

    Recommended Strategy: Establish a consortium of healthcare providers, government agencies and citizens to assess met and unmet healthcare needs of the fivecounty region, to identify available resources and to develop immediate and long-range plans.

    Recommended Action to Begin Implementing the Strategy: Establish a steering committee to plan the first meeting of the task force (i.e. invite members, set the agenda, etc.)

    Return Expected for Our Region: Because prevention is less costly than treatment, healthcare costs in the region will decrease, thus freeing our limited dollars for use in other ways, benefiting all citizens of the five-county region (youth, seniors, adults), healthcare providers, and government entities. Through the wise use of resources, healthier schoolchildren will become successful, taxpaying, productive work force/adults and will be more beneficial to their communities.

  3. Family and Shelter; Housing
    Our Goal: A region with involved families and individuals in safe and supportive communities where all have adequate, affordable and accessible housing.

    Recommended Strategies:
    A. Young Family Support: Provide all new parents with access to child development and parenting education information.
    Recommended Action to Begin Implementing the Strategy: Create a task force to conduct a conference for agencies to share information.

    Return Expected for Our Region: Reduction of public assistance needs; safer environment for children; prevention of child abuse and neglect; reduced births to teens; greater parental involvement in schools; raised quality of child care; improved quality of life, benefiting children, young parents,-especially teen parents, all communities, children with special needs.

    Another Strategy to Accomplish Our Goal: Ensure access to quality childcare through public/private partnerships.

    B. Housing: Establish a regional task force to inventory the housing supply, conditions and needs within 12 months and set targets for meeting those needs.

    Recommended Action to Begin Implementing the Strategy: Create the task force and access census information in order to start the inventory.

    Return Expected for Our Region: Overall improvement of housing status; increase in quality of life; neighborhood stability; economic growth; family stability leading to improvement in educational success in children; better self-esteem, reduction in crime, improved health, benefiting low-income families; regional tax base (converts vacant lots into taxpayer homes); business (stable neighborhood, better employees); communities through improved public health and overall quality of life.

    Other Strategies to Accomplish Our Goal:

    • Provide support and incentives for the rehabilitation of existing houses and neighborhoods.

    • Support and fight for the passage of good legislation to ensure adequate, affordable and accessible housing.

  4. Youth
    Our Goal: A region that provides an improved and increased number of safe and supervised youth activities, programs and services through organizations and facilities that empower and nurture youth and that encourage the development of positive values and self esteem - particularly after school and on weekends.

    Recommended Strategy: Create a partnership to develop a regional approach to share planning, ideas, knowledge, best practices and resources for youth activities and programs.

    Recommended Action to Begin Implementing the Strategy: Form the initial task force to more thoroughly identify what services are available currently and who is providing them.

    Return Expected for Our Region: Enhanced current programs expanded to fill in the gaps to provide a safety net for all youth, benefiting youth, adults, parents, agencies, business and the community

    Other Strategies to Accomplish Our Goal:

    • Develop a stable source of funding for youth education and activities.

    • Create youth leadership forums for children from mid-elementary school on up.

    • Community leaders should develop a comprehensive public campaign to encourage adults to volunteer their time and resources in specific programs for youth development.

  5. Crime, Drugs and Public Safety
    Our Goal: A region that provides a safe, drug-free, low crime environment for all residents, with schools and religious institutions serving as a catalyst, with improved police recruiting, training and performance, with increased county fire protection (enhanced by the use of technology), and with increased public and traffic safety.

    Recommended Strategy: Form an advisory panel composed of a good cross section of regional citizens (church, business, etc.) to meet on a regular basis with elected and civic leaders to offer advice on the needs of the community, and in turn, the leaders can get the assistance of the citizens on issues of importance.

    Recommended Action to Begin Implementing the Strategy: Work with the chambers of commerce to organize an initial meeting and take the initiative to bring in government, civic and religious leaders. Leadership organizations, such as Leadership Montgomery, can play an important role in selecting civic leaders for the first meeting.

    Return Expected for Our Region: Better line of communication between citizens and their civic and government officials concerning important issues, benefiting the entire region with a substantially improved quality of life.

    Other Strategies to Accomplish Our Goal:

    • Form a coalition of religious institutions and community organizations to coordinate and implement a program for neighborhood centers that have family programs (drug awareness, public safety, day care, etc.)

    • Increase revenues to provide better pay, retirement benefits, better working conditions, in order to recruit and retain more qualified police officers; part of the training should focus on diversity and human relations skills.

    • Increase drug and alcohol treatment programs for indigent youth and adults in the region.

    • Provide a better communications system among police agencies in the region.

  6. Seniors
    Our Goal: A region that assures a good quality of life for its seniors by incorporating a continuum of care that is socially, medically and psychologically supportive, with safe housing, necessary services and economic support.

    Recommended Strategy: Establish comprehensive senior centers for recreation, medical needs, human services, and distribution of information on what services are available, who coordinates them and for whom they are available.

    Recommended Action to Begin Implementing the Strategy: Schedule and host the first coordinating council meeting.

    Return Expected for Our Region: A better quality of life for seniors, their families, communities, governments

    Other Strategies to Accomplish Our Goal:

    • Build on existing agencies that serve the aging by providing a continuum of care for the elderly in each area of this goal.

    • Provide community supported transportation for industrial recruitment, commercial/retail development and government officials concerning important issues, benefiting the entire region with a substantially improved quality of life.