By Janice Clark
June 21, 2012
“How many people in the room consider their home a safe and affordable place to live?” I asked, and not one person raised a hand.
I was at the B. S. Ricks Memorial Library, in Yazoo City, Miss., conducting a focus group meeting with senior residents. Yazoo City (population 11,403) is strikingly rural, with dirt roads and a small commercial area. Working with Linda Smith, executive director of theEsther Stewart Buford (ESB) Foundation, we arranged to meet with 15 area seniors in December 2011. Among the seniors were two local aldermen and the former city mayor. The conversation focused on the condition of their homes and the services they would like to see in their community.