Community Needs Forum begins 8th year with lunch today

January 7, 2016 by

When Concordians gather at the Nazareth Motherhouse today (Jan. 12) for the 31st session in the Community Needs Forum, the focus will be a survey and discussion that began at a similar meeting last fall.

Tuesday’s “working lunch” at the Motherhouse will be from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. Lunch will be provided without charge by the Sisters of St. Joseph, and those planning to come are asked to RSVP to 243-2149 or sisterjean@csjkansas.org. Parking is available in the new lot on the east side of the Motherhouse. Everyone is invited; you do not need to have attended an earlier meeting to join the process now.

Last October, at the Community Needs Forum’s 30th gathering, Sisters Marcia Allen and Jean Rosemarynoski asked those attending to look back over their progress since the sessions began in January 2009. Then those attending were asked two questions:

Thinking in terms of a grassroots effort where the solution can come from the people (or members or residents) themselves…

— What do you see as the greatest need for Concordia?

— What do you see as the greatest need of your organization (or agency or neighborhood)?

The results of that discussion will be the focus of today’s lunch.

Ashley Hutchinson

Ashley Hutchinson

As part of that, the speaker will be Ashley Hutchinson, executive director of CloudCorp. Hutchinson said she will explain the “economic development strategy for CloudCorp — and that includes jobs,” and will leave plenty of time for questions.

During the October discussion, many participants cited jobs and economic development as among the greatest needs in the community.

Other needs mentioned at that meeting included stability for the medical community and hospital, more volunteers and donations to help local nonprofit organizations and various services for individuals and families living in poverty.

The Community Needs Forum grew out of informal meetings between the Sisters of St. Joseph and community leaders in the fall of 2008. The first working lunch was held in January 2009, and the continuing gatherings have identified what participants see as the greatest needs in the community and have established smaller groups to seek solutions. The working lunches — now held about once a quarter — continue to provide an opportunity for updates on projects and a clearinghouse for new ideas.

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