When Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences announced in June that it would bring a new College of Dental Medicine to Joplin to join its College of Osteopathic Medicine, the community responded with excitement.
Now we've learned that there's more than just excitement out there about this project — there are several donors who are betting on its success by offering up gifts to ensure that it becomes a reality.
Those donors include Harry M. Cornell, for whom the building will be named; Rudy Farber, Larry McIntire and the Joplin Regional Medical School Alliance, all major players in getting the osteopathic medical school to Joplin; and the Sunderland and Farber foundations. Many thanks for their willingness to invest in their community to attract new students to the area and to help improve the health of our friends and neighbors.
And congratulations to KCU, which through those donors now has raised approximately three-fourths of its $40 million goal for construction. We look forward to being able to put a date for the groundbreaking on our calendar.
Also making an investment here is the Joplin United Micro-housing Project, which is a collaboration between One Joplin, Joplin Area Habitat for Humanity, Joplin Area Fuller Center for Housing and Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri. Thanks to a donation from the Missouri Conference of the United Methodist Church, the group just broke ground for a new duplex in the 1400 block of Central Street.
The unit will be composed of two one-bedroom micro-apartments that each have a bathroom, kitchen, living area and storm shelter. Officials hope they can be a model for increasing the amount of housing available to low-income residents.
"We're hopeful it could be the first of many to come," Ashley Micklethwaite, executive director of One Joplin, told the Globe earlier this week.
Affordable housing will always be needed in this area, and we appreciate these organizations banding together to make sure there is enough.
Staying safe and warm
And speaking of housing, Economic Security Corporation gets a nod this week for its weatherization program, which usually ramps up this time of year. The program aims to reduce energy costs for eligible, low-income households by increasing the energy efficiency of their homes while ensuring their health and safety.
It can be hard, when you live in an old home with a limited income, to stay warm enough for an affordable price. Economic Security is here to see that everyone can be cozy and safe this winter.