QUINCY, Ill. (KHQA) — People who know a little bit about psychology know the importance of meeting one need before a person can go on to excel in another area of life.
For example, a person cannot excel in school or work if they don't have a safe and comfortable home.
KHQA introduces you to a Quincy committee member trying to help people achieve that basic need.
On behalf of our sponsors Peters Heating and Air and Hilbing Autobody, KHQA's Rajah Maples introduces you to this month's KHQA Hometown Hero.
Kevin Krummel has served on Quincy's Safe and Livable Housing Committee with more than a dozen other people.
Its name perfectly describes its goal - to make sure all Quincy residents have a safe and comfortable living space.
"Not everyone can afford their own house," Krummel said. "Many people spend time in apartments and those apartments need to be safe. Hot water, toilets that flush, bathtubs, doors that lock, roofs that don't leak, etc."
Krummel became involved after viewing photographs of some of Quincy's substandard living conditions as part of the Quincy, Illinois Poverty Project.
The committee says 90 percent of Quincy landlords are responsible and take good care of maintaining their rental properties.
However, the committee says something needs to be done to help address the other 10 percent.
Janet Conover volunteers with Blessed Sacrament.
A visit by Quincy Superintendent Roy Webb opened her eyes to what was happening in Quincy.
"He said, 'are you aware we have 800 children truant a day in QPS?' We all were shocked and about fell over," Conover said. "Some children were in rental properties that were so bad, they didn't have hot water. No place for them to bathe. Then, they would get bullied. I had blinders on. I was not aware. That was my main notification."
The committee has proposed a city ordinance to help prevent those problems from happening.
However, the Quincy City Council recently rejected the proposal.
"We're throwing people away," Joe Zimmerman said. "We have people here who could be very valuable. We need to build up our own population. That's true of the whole country."
The committee has recently helped distribute 800 housing complaint forms to help rental tenants report problems.
"Everyone on our committee is tenacious," Krummel said. "We see the need hasn't gone away. We'll continue to make the community and the city council aware of this issue."
KHQA would like to thank our sponsors, Peters Heating and Air and Hilbing Autobody, for making our Hometown Hero series possible.
If you would like to nominate anyone as our next hometown hero, log onto www.khqa.com and click on the hometown hero tab.