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Community

New Study Details Strategies to Improve Rock Island's West End

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Rock Island now has suggestions on how to improve the West End neighborhood.

This week, the City Council discussed a new study that identified more than 20 strategies to support community engagement, bring jobs to the area, and improve living conditions.

Jerry Jones is Executive Director of the King Center.

"The vision is to see the West End of Rock Island to be the preferred place to live and to thrive. That's what ultimately I'd like to see from the results of this assessment, of this plan and this work."

The study identified some key "disparities," including limited access to healthy food, low economic security, and a severe lack of safe, quality housing.

"And if we don't have that basic need met, then we can't progress. it's like Maslow's Hierarchy: we must need our basic needs before we can even hope to move on to bigger and better things. If we're constantly struggling for survival, we cannot plan to live a life."

Jones says the next step is to work with West End residents and businesses to put the strategies into action.

The assessment began in 2019, and the results come just as Rock Island is deciding how to spend more than $25 million dollars in federal COVID relief funding.