HATTIESBURG, Miss. -For a little over a year, the city of Hattiesburg and the School of Social Work at Southern Miss have been quietly working on the Youth Master Plan Initiative.
With the help of a group of high schoolers, they’ve been surveying kids and parents to see what the city can do to improve life for youth.
“We found out there were five keys areas everyone kept talking about,” said Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny Dupree.
Those five areas are;
1. Early childhood development
2. Family supports and outreach
3. Health, safety and recreation
4. Out-of-school time
5. Youth development
To begin improving those areas, the Youth Master Plan will roll out a website next week, hubcityaccess.com.
It’s a one stop site to find things like activities, college prep, and health care information for your child.
“What we discovered most of all is that we do have a lot of resources in the area, but families don’t know about them. There will be interactive learning games, resources identified in the community, a calendar of events of things going on in the community, and more.” said Southern Miss School of Social Work’s Laura Richard.
Mayor Dupree says the website is the first major project being implemented by Youth Master Plan, but certainly not the last.
A strong request for a children’s museum has caught the city’s attention.
“We’ll be hopefully traveling to San Francisco to look at their interactive museum, and we’ll be trying to secure funds so that we can construct an interactive museum,” said Mayor Dupree.
The Youth Master Plan will also host an expo later in the year so families can learn about children’s services offered in Hattiesburg at one time.