TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — The poorest zip code in Florida is right in our back yard.
Zip code 32304 is home to many low-income families, a growing poverty rate, and now gentrification.
Thursday, local leaders are taking on that issue, talking to the community about how they can turn the area around.
Poverty in the zip code has been an ongoing topic, but community leaders say gentrification has contributed to some of the issues we see, slowly displacing families.
Many students share the 32304 zip code, and people in the area say more student housing and activities have changed the way the community looked 10 years ago.
The area has more than a 50 percent poverty rate, and for two years leaders have come together to try to find solutions to improve that.
People in the area say gentrification will only move people struggling to a different zip code.
They want to see more opportunities in neighborhoods, like grocery stores and businesses that can employ the community.
"Gentrification has had quite an impact on our lives in our community for years now," said Mitchell, a Frenchtown advocate and panelist. "In the Frenchtown corridor, a lot of our neighbors have moved away moved across town to the southside, to the country, moved wherever they could get decent housing, and have family members support them."
Mitchell says not all parts of 32304 are impoverished, and there is a rich history in places like Frenchtown and Griffin Heights when it comes to art and culture.
Along with gentrification, leaders will also discuss how COVID-19 has impacted 32304.
This discussion is led by Florida State University's Student Leadership Council, so they will also discuss ways students can help.