Independence litter clean-up program to be extended after successful pilot season
The City of Independence and the Community Services League (CSL) today announced Independence T.O.G.E.T.H.E.R will continue. Through community partnerships, funding has been secured through September 2024.
Launched in late March 2023, Independence T.O.G.E.T.H.E.R. was originally funded through $100,000 of APRA funds and was scheduled to be completed the first year in September 2023.
However, the program will now operate through the winter after receiving additional financial support from the City of Independence, the Noland Road Community Improvement District, the Independence Events Center Community Improvement District, and T-Mobile’s HQ Giving Program.
“We’ve grown to be like a family. It’s been amazing to put smiles on people’s faces – people try to stop in the middle of traffic to tell us how they appreciate us,” Marquita James, an Independence T.O.G.E.T.H.E.R. crewmember, said. To hear more about the program and James, click here.
Since the program’s launch, crews have removed more than 250,000 pounds of trash from Independence roadways, sidewalks, curbs, fence lines, vacant lots, medians, parks and other green spaces.
“When you see our crews this winter, please tell them thanks for all they do to keep Independence free of litter!” Community Services League President and CEO Doug Cowan said.
Independence T.O.G.E.T.H.E.R. stands for Together Opportunities Grow Everyone To Help Empower Resiliency. The program focuses on addressing two key community priorities – assisting residents who are experiencing unstable housing and community beautification.
Through the program, individuals who are unhoused or experiencing unstable housing are paid for their work cleaning up roadside litter along main streets. CSL and CSL case managers also assist crew members in locating permanent housing and permanent employment outside of the Independence T.O.G.E.T.H.E.R program.
Crews walk along roadsides and remove litter and other various illegally dumped materials throughout the city. Priority areas for service are the major east-west corridors (24 Hwy., Truman Rd., M-78, I-70, 40 Hwy., 35th Street and 39th Street), the major north-south corridors (Blue Ridge Blvd., Sterling, Noland, Lee’s Summit, M-29) and along park and historic sites.
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