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Elizabeth Hughes of Christian Action Ministries, at the podium, is joined by Grant Sloan of the Branson chamber Marietta Hagan of CoxHealth and John Baltes of the Silver Dollar City Foundation.
Photo provided by Christian Action Ministries
Elizabeth Hughes of Christian Action Ministries, at the podium, is joined by Grant Sloan of the Branson chamber Marietta Hagan of CoxHealth and John Baltes of the Silver Dollar City Foundation.

Branson stakeholders partner to address poverty

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Business and nonprofit groups are partnering to address poverty in the Branson area.

The Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and CVB, Silver Dollar City Foundation, CoxHealth and Christian Action Ministries jointly announced plans this morning to face off against poverty rates of 17 percent in Taney County and nearly 15 percent in Stone County, according to a news release.

Four initiatives in the works are:
    •    the Stone and Taney Counties Substance Abuse Initiative, led by CoxHealth and funded by the Skaggs Foundation to reduce and prevent the misuse of substances;
    •    Imagine Families Thriving, led by the SDC Foundation to work with churches to support those in poverty;
    •    5 in Five, led by the chamber to identify the five most important community issues within the next five years; and
    •    the Community Assessment of Poverty, led by Christian Action Ministries to assess population demographics, economic climate, access to health, affordable housing and more.

Among them, leaders of the initiatives represent some 300 organizations and businesses.

“Leaders of the initiatives came together because we know there is not a one-size fits-all approach to addressing poverty, and we are stronger together,” said Jeff Seifried, Branson chamber president, in the release. “We will work in tandem to support each other, as well as other agencies, ministries and businesses, who are already on the front lines addressing poverty and its effects.”

The groups announced the plans following the annual Ozark Mountain Prayer Breakfast.

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