CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Big changes could be coming to Cape Girardeau.
On November 16, citizens from every side of town came together to learn more about a long-term program aimed at revitalizing the south side.
"Seeing the assets that are already here, we're hopeful that there is a possibility of working with Cape Girardeau," said Kathleen Brownlee, the vice president of Purpose Built Communities.
For many, it's a hope for the future, and a new vision for the south side of the city.
City leaders are hoping to work with Purpose Built Communities.
The Atlanta-based organization's focus is to provide a solution to concentrated poverty, something Mayor Harry Rediger said he believes south Cape Girardeau needs.
"It's an exciting time, and it's late coming. We should have done this earlier," Mayor Rediger said.
The goal of the meeting was to hear about the program, and allow residents to ask questions.
"As we like to say, we're on a first date. It's good for our model and it's good for Cape Girardeau," Brownlee said.
Purpose Built's model focuses on mixed-income housing, education, and community wellness, all supported by a new community organization to make sure that plan is on track.
Lynn Ware, a 40 year resident of Cape Girardeau, came away impressed - but felt community members should be involved.
"I think it's a good thing. I think that many different hands need to be involved in this project in building this part of our city. I just think all hands need to come together and not just a select few," Ware said, something Brownlee agrees with.
"Bringing the community leadership together, and when I say community both the people living in South Cape along with the leadership in the city and really figuring out what's a vision for south Cape."
Mayor Rediger and Ware say getting all of the community involved is the best way to more forward.
"We can do it more together than we've been able to do it separately. I understand the skepticism, and we need to work through that," Rediger said.
"So come out. It's most important to do that," Ware said.
Rediger said this is the first step in year-long process. Once the project moves forward it could take ten years to complete.