To create a sustained system for lifting people out of poverty by creating an environment whereby neighbors from throughout the community work together to address challenges and create opportunities.


  • We will work alongside the community, rather than imposing projects or actions onto the neighborhoods or present as if “we” are trying to help “them.” 
  • Our focus will be resident-centric, meaning that every decision will take into account the wants and needs of the residents first and foremost.
  • We will focus on systemic, sustainable change. 
  • We will recruit/create new leaders in the community.
  • We will measure and publicize results.
  • We will find ways to incentivize participation (through education and/or $)


During the 18-Month Zone Blitz implementation, we will ... 

  • Address the top priorities from the Community Listen tour, but also address other stated issues/problems as able.
  • Use a “barn raising” model – everyone will need to contribute and work together to “move the needle” on community priorities and other “neighborhood health indicators” - Engage the business, faith, medical, education and non-profit service communities in plan development and implementation.
  • Capitalize on existing neighborhood pride; build on this strength by engaging neighborhood residents in solutions.
  • Stress the importance of this project to all Springfield citizens via a broad-based community education campaign.
  • Focus the investment of City funds in the areas identified during the Community Listen Tour to improve these and other “neighborhood health indicators.”
  • Address the Zone 1 “food desert” and encourage/incentivize community gardens.
  • Develop/Expand programs focused on assisting children in poverty.

Who are the partners in the Zone Blitz initiative?

Following the May 2015 Community Listen tour, the City and its more than 40 partners grew to an army of more than 300 individual volunteers and more than 200 partner organizations. Recruited largely in part by City Manager Burris, partner organizations agreed to immediate action planning to improve life in Springfield's under-resourced neighborhoods. View the full list of partner organizations

How does Zone Blitz fit in with other poverty initiatives?

Click image for larger view.

Poverty Initiatives Infographic

Want to get involved?

Sign up for a Zone Blitz project! 

View Zone Blitz Projects & Partnership Opportunities

Did you miss the Zone Blitz kick-off?

View it in its entirety below!

Data presented at the Community Listen meetings

Negative data indicators such as crime, illness and poverty were more found to be more concentrated in Springfield's northwest quadrant (also known as Zone 1, while positive indicators such as food and play space access were lacking. City leaders looked back at five to 10 years’ worth of data and saw this was more than a snapshot in time. View the data by clicking the links below.

Who is representing you?

View Zone 1 City Councilwoman Phyllis Ferguson's video profile below.