Identify community strengths and weaknesses with new survey

Ever wonder what your neighbors are most concerned with? What struggles they’re facing?

Well, so is the Northeast Michigan Community Service Agency, or NEMCSA. The agency is currently soliciting residents, including those of Bay County, to fill out their 2019 Community Needs Assessment survey. Such surveys allow NEMCSA to identify and address the most pressing needs of the residents of its service area.

This is the fifth such survey for the agency, which issued its first in 2003. Other years include 2008, 2013, and 2016.

Within, the survey asks respondents to select the strengths of their community in fields such as education, health services, and housing. It then asks respondents to identify the needs, or weaknesses, of their community. It’s a wide-ranging list, including everything from grocery stores to police response time, HIV and AIDS support and education to affordable car insurance.

It will be interesting to see how community needs have changes since the last survey was issued. Nearly 1,300 residents replied to the 2016 survey.

According to respondents in that survey, the region’s biggest strengths were in religious involvement and church, community volunteerism, and public safety. Its greatest weaknesses were in utility bill assistance, food assistance, prescription drug assistance, access to home health care, and medical services.

Programs offered by NEMSCA in Bay County include Early Head Start and Head Start education services.

Visit NEMSCA online to take the survey.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.