Boone County Issues Analysis

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Boone County, City of Columbia, and Heart of Missouri United Way

About the Project

The City of Columbia, Boone County, and the Heart of Missouri United Way (HMUW) are constantly evaluating ways to provide a more targeted approach to address social service needs in the community. IPP has the opportunity to support this mission by offering analysis of current population trends and social services in Boone County. IPP was contracted by the Boone County Community Services Advisory Commission and HMUW to conduct a series of issue analysis reports covering five major social service funding areas:

• Basic Needs & Emergency Services
• Economic Opportunity
• Independent Living
• Mental Health
• Children, Youth and Families

These reports identify and examine sub-issues for each social service area and offer trend analyses of publicly available, routinely updated, and local-level data. IPP analyses assist in building a contextual framework to guide the dissemination of social services funding.

The IPP report on Basic Needs & Emergency Services (June 2013) focuses on the services needed by Boone County families who have unexpected circumstances. The sub-issues of this report include: food security, homelessness, affordable housing, and domestic violence. Findings show that there are 48 percent more homeless individuals in Boone County in 2012 than in 2008, an increasing number of which are Veterans. Over half the renters in the county are considered “cost burdened” and finally, since 2006, the local domestic violence shelter has turned away 338 individuals due to due to lack of over-night beds.

The IPP Economic Opportunity Report (October 2012) focuses on sub-issues including academic achievement, access to child care, criminal history, and transportation. This report also included contextual economic factors which have far reaching implications on personal economic well-being. These include unemployment, home ownership, personal debt levels, and poverty trends.

The IPP Independent Living Report (October 2012) examines employment trends, personal well-being, community involvement, and barriers to public transportation for senior citizens and people living with disabilities. The report found that between 2008 and 2010, Boone County seniors (age 65-69) tend to be more active in the labor force than those of the same age in Missouri and the U.S. Boone County individuals with disabilities make on average 37 percent less than those without a disability.

The IPP Mental Health Report (October 2012) focuses on sub-issues including the prevalence of mental health diagnosis, the prevalence of substance abuse, and treatment assess. Findings in this report highlight the persistence of co-occurring clinical psychological disorders and substance abuse disorders. The report finds half of all Boone County admission to treatment programs report alcohol as the primary substance of abuse.

The IPP Children, Youth and Families Report (October 2012) focuses on teen pregnancy, academic achievement, mental health, youth homelessness, positive youth development, positive family development, and school readiness. Findings show Boone County students are more likely than Missouri students to engage in risky attitudes and behaviors regarding alcohol and drugs. When compared to other race groups in Boone County, African Americans have higher rates of child poverty and lower graduation rates.

These five reports, while different in subject matter, have a common mission of establishing a framework to guide social service funding in Boone County. Following the data analysis, each report contains a subject-specific resource assessment of local agencies currently administering social service programming. The reports differ not only in the sub-issues at hand but also the sub-populations of interest: homeless, U.S. Veterans, single mother households, families in poverty, and community members who speak English as a second language.

Three of the five reports (Mental Health, Children Youth and Family, and Basic Needs & Emergency Services) contain rosters of evidence based programs that could be implemented in Boone County. The Economic Opportunity report examines the local implementation of state and federal programming for personal economic development while the Independent Living report highlights the Milken Institute’s 2010 findings which named Columbia, MO as the fourth best small city to age in thanks to low cost of living and high quality health care.

These reports are made possible by the City of Columbia, Boone County, and the Heart of Missouri United way.

Published May 21, 2014 | Social Services