The United Way of Amarillo & Canyon presents the 2017 Community Status Report—a resource for government, businesses, civic, social service, and faith-based organizations to inform and stimulate community discussions and investments in 2018. The research and data from the report helps guide the United Way’s community impact councils comprised of volunteers seeking the best investments to improve the most pressing issues facing our citizens in education, health, and financial stability.
Improvements we have seen in our community are:
· Potter and Randall Counties both have a low unemployment rate.
· Amarillo economy remains strong.
· Potter County’s median income has begun to grow.
· Randall County has a strong high school graduation rate and Potter County’s is improving.
· Potter and Randall Counties had a significant drop in the rate of child abuse.
These are positive trends which create a healthy, strong community where people want to live. However, with these positive improvements we still have challenges we need to face. These are:
· Single most challenge is health.
· Both counties have elevated rates of death from heart disease (stroke), cancer and diabetes.
· Potter County has a growing poverty rate, high rates of STIs, elevated rates of domestic violence and high rates of birth to unmarried mothers.
· Randall County continues to struggle with an elevated suicide rate.
Poverty continues to be a hub that other problem will grow and thrive from, such as health and disease, drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence and child abuse. Even though poverty rates have improved nationally and state wide they continue to be a significant issue for Potter County which increased its poverty rate by 7.5%. Poverty also affects those who actually have jobs but cannot make ends meet duet to their pay. Education, the community attracting industry paying a living wage along with helping people eradicate barriers preventing them from obtaining a post-secondary degree are some solutions to fighting poverty. It is a point of pride to say Amarillo is involved in doing these things currently.
We have made some positive strides in attacking the negatives that affect our community but we still have a long way to go. We at United Way of Amarillo & Canyon are dedicated to ensuring the education, health and income stability to all of its residents. However we cannot do it alone. We need partners along the way to pick up their swords and participate in this fight. From this Community Status Report we have the information needed to see what the actual problems are and from there can take action. Together we can make a difference.