The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Little Rock Field Office and the City of Jacksonville invites the public to participate in a Community Needs Assessment Roundtable Consultation, scheduled for Wednesday, March 12, from 9:30-11:30 a.m., at the new Arkansas Game & Fish Foundation Shooting Sports Complex, located at 2800 Graham Road, Jacksonville.

As part of an effort to institutionalize best practices in achieving HUD’s Strategic Goal of Building Strong, Resilient, and Inclusive Communities, the HUD Little Rock Field Office selected the City of Jacksonville to receive an in-depth community needs assessment. The findings identified from the community needs assessment will be the foundation for the development of the FY2014 Operating Plan for the HUD Little Rock Field Office.

"You can play an integral role in the development of the local operating plan by agreeing to participate in a roundtable discussion/planning process," said Jacksonville Mayor Gary Fletcher. "The discussion will not only identify specific issues, conditions, and problems facing the City, but will assist us in developing locally identified and driven community goals that will focus on utilizing available resources to resolve those problems."

Because all community partners will be a part of this assessment, it will foster increased collaboration across HUD and other federal agency programs, state, public and private partners.

"Finally, with your help and valuable input, this assessment should identify and seek remedies for: optimizing collaboration and consensus among stakeholders, identifying unspent or poorly spent federal funds and leveraging and aligning federal resources with those being provided in the community, such as local, state, non-profit, philanthropic, and private investments," added Fletcher.

Fletcher said he is excited about this partnership opportunity.

"Hope that we can count on you to join us to fully support this process for the City of Jacksonville," said Fletcher.

If anyone has questions, they may contact David Blick, Senior Management Analyst, HUD Little Rock Field Office, at 501-918-5706, or Ms. Theresa Watson, Director of Community Development, City of Jacksonville, at 501-982-0026.