Leon County hosts a Community Conversation for the 32304 zip code
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Creating an open dialogue.
The Leon County commissioner, Bill Proctor, and the Leon county government hosted a community conversation to discuss plans to improve the 32304 zip code which is the poorest in the state.
Thursday’s 32304 community conversation was just that, a conversation. It gave residents a chance to speak their minds and help their voices be heard about what they want to see happen in their communities.
County leaders and officials presented plans currently in place to help the 32304 zip code improve from being the most impoverished zip code in the state. A classification, county leaders say doesn’t paint the entire picture.
“The thing that’s missing is the why. Why is it that way? And one of the most important things to do is to talk to the neighborhood and engage the neighborhood,” Leon county office of human services Director Chington Lamy said. “Tell them about the resources that we have and find out how we can continue to improve and enhance those.”
In fact, the County Commission Chairman, Bill Proctor, believes that in many ways, 32304 is one of the richest zip codes.
“When it comes to survivability when it comes to willingness to live and partner with one another. 32304 is a very rich zip code when it comes to their caring, their faith in god, their faith in themselves and I believe that they believe in what their community can be,” County commission chairman Bill Proctor said.
And while residents hear the plans in place, some say that even their kids can see how different their homes look.
“I was taking my son out to eat and he’s 12 years old and autistic, and he asked me a question “Mom why does our neighborhood look like this?” so I had to let him know and try to explain to him the difference of poverty,” Griffin Heights resident Lachanthia Hall said.
Parents like Hall, appreciate events like this because it allows her to have a voice.
“It’s okay to have a seat at the table but we need to also let our voices be heard. So these meetings not only give us a seat here but allows us to let our city and county officials know that we need help and that we see different things happening in our neighborhood. Hear us,” Hall said.
County leaders told residents that they’re ready to listen.
“There’s more work to do but that’s good, right? There’s more work to do because there are more folks engaged. We know that this was just a small sample of the people that are here now in the community but the thing about that small sample is they’ll get the word out,” Lamy explained. “They’ll take it to their neighbors, they’ll take it to their church members that live around here.”
“There’s sunshine on the other side. And we have to work together and hopefully with the journey of the arms and the willingness to work and to find a single purpose to be greater than data is saying,” shared Proctor.
A big takeaway from Thursday is that the committee wants to see action and the County seems to be willing to take it. Both sides say they’re excited about what the future may hold for the 32304 zip code.
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