Agencies in Lake Havasu City have begun talking to each other about how they can support families and children in the community. That was the focus of an Arizona Town Hall meeting held Saturday morning at Mohave Community College.
Mayor Cal Sheehy, Vice Mayor David Lane, and Kingman Mayor Jen Miles, along with Town Hall board members, Havasu council members, and active members of the community exchanged ideas regarding strengthening families and helping children thrive.
Danny Pirtle, a Town Hall board member and a criminal justice professor at Arizona State University, thanked Sheehy for initiating the meeting. “One thing about Havasu is that the family network and services are bar none,” Pirtle said. “I want to acknowledge Cal, who about a year or so ago came up with the idea to bring together all of these agencies in Mohave County. It’s under his leadership that we’ve begun that process to put together the services to strengthen our children and our families.”
Tara Jackson, Arizona Town Hall President said, “When we talk about what creates a healthy community and strong families, it’s more than just health care or the health system. It’s the community itself, the relationships we form, social justice issues, and access to hope. Our job is to come and help everyone to work together to build a better community.”
The participants examined characteristics of a strong family and community, and they considered things Arizona is lacking for family support, and ways to implement more help for families struggling to keep their children on the right path.
“Well over 90% of all juveniles will commit some sort of delinquency. I’m still searching for why children go down this path but there are some protective factors that help most youth veer away from that,” Pirtle said. “Hopefully, we at Arizona Town Hall can come together and find a way. ”
According to Jackson, the Arizona Town Hall hopes to use the information collected at each of their community town halls to “create solutions and action steps to collectively support families and children so that they are better able to overcome risk factors such as adverse childhood experiences and economic downturns.” The bigger the support system, the better the chances are that a child will thrive into adulthood and become an active member of society.
The Arizona Town Hall will host its 112th statewide Town Hall from November 14-16 at the Sheraton Crescent Hotel in Phoenix. For more information, call 602-252-9600 or visit aztownhall.org/Upcoming_Town_Hall