Dear Editor and Friends,

Dear Editor and Friends,

I am the Executive Director of the Pine Bluff Jefferson County Economic Opportunities Commission, Inc. located in Pine Bluff.

PBJCEOC is committed to alleviating poverty and assisting low-income individuals and families to secure knowledge, skills and opportunities to become self-sufficient and to lead lives of dignity in Jefferson, Cleveland, Arkansas, Lincoln and Grant counties.

This task has become even greater recently as someone chose to steal all four tires off a newly (owned less than 12 hours) donated vehicle to our Weatherization Program. Yes, that is correct, a vehicle thatís sole purpose is to make persons of low income homes more energy efficient. This includes many elderly, children and persons with disabilities. The very people our communities need to strive to help the most. It was a nice touch using the wood our staff worked hard to gather from the Little Rock storms in order that some people may have firewood in the winter to use as blocks to prop up the truck.

This is very difficult for us to understand. Our agency is established to help those in need. If these individuals had stopped by our office between the hours of 8 -5 instead of what I assume was the middle of the night, we would have been more than happy to assist them in giving them the opportunity to obtain what they lacked to be successful. This is what we are here for day in and day out. There is no need to take things.

This continues to be a negative impact to our agency as well as our city and community. Our organization staff has worked very hard to make an impact in this community. We are currently developing from a 3.4 million dollar agency into over a 7 million dollar agency. We are expanding to either have on staff or fund employment with sub-grantees for over 100 people in our community. We donít want to leave, we are eager to remain a part of the City of Pine Bluff even as that becomes more taxing of an issue. High security measures and replacement cost take dollars out of the pockets of our people. We strive ourselves are getting the most dollars we can into peopleís homes and businesses.

We ask that you help. Let us be successful, let us have the opportunity to create opportunities for people and this community. Thank you for your support and we look forward to all four tires remaining on the rest of our vehicles. If you would like to return the other tires, feel free to do so as well. We understand that people make negative decisions and would be more than happy to work with you in your struggles.


David Knight

Executive Director

Pine Bluff Jefferson County Economic Opportunities Commission, Inc.

817 South Cherry Street

Pine Bluff, AR 71603