COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Increasing prosperity and reducing poverty are just two goals for an organization called Columbus 2025.
The group, aimed at improving the quality of life in Columbus, met with leaders and volunteers Friday to talk about how they plan to work toward those goals this year.
Columbus 2025 focused more on increasing prosperity in 2019. This year, its taking a hard look at decreasing poverty.
Columbus 2025 is celebrating major accomplishments from 2019, including a growing city population and huge economic development.
“In 2019, and going into 2020, it really shows momentum," said volunteer Will Burgin. "We have really gotten our footing.”
The group uses long and short term goals to make Columbus ‘amazing.’
“So, we’re out to use beauty and connectivity to build a better city for all of us," said Vice Chair Betsy Covington.
Why 2025 you may ask, and not right now? Because the goals, increasing prosperity and reducing poverty can’t happen overnight.
“We want it to be long range enough to really perform some of the things we’re setting out to do,” said Chairwoman Audrey Tillman. “But we also wanted it to be short enough for people to see measured results and see accomplishments because that motivates you to get moving toward the goal.”
Tillman said Columbus’ poverty rate is 20 percent, 33 percent if you include small children. One volunteer said that statistic alone is why he is passionate about this cause.
“For every job, for every opportunity to get to a job, for every time that we do education, is a way of having their destination, not a poverty destination," said Burgin.
Whether it’s bringing entrepreneurs to StartUp Columbus, inviting tourists to conferences while staying in one of our local hotels, or educating even the youngest of residents, every aspect of life plays a role in poverty.
“So, if we can provide a little bit of assistance in the area of housing, health, workforce development and violent crime reduction, that’s going to help impact the poverty levels in Columbus as well," said Columbus Mayor Skip Henderson said.
If you’re passionate about poverty too, you can reach out to Columbus 2025 on their Facebook page to get involved in one of their groups.
The chairwoman said it’s a community and collaborative effort and they need all the help they can get.