2019 Community Priorities Survey

2019 Community Priorities Survey

The results of our 2019 Community Priorities Survey are in! We heard from 76 residents of Curry and Coos County – THANK YOU! 

Survey questions included:

  • “What is the most important social issue currently facing our southern coastal community?”
  • “Why is this issue most important to you?”
  • “What improvement or change would make the biggest impact in addressing this issue?”

Here’s a summary of the results:

– One in three respondents listed “housing” as the most important social issue currently facing our southern coastal community. The reasons given included the fact that it impacts so many people in our community, the high cost of housing, and the impact of a lack of housing to the local workforce. Increased affordable housing was listed most commonly as the potential improvement/change with the most impact. Other specific solutions included multi-family housing, tiny houses, and quality affordable rentals. 

– One in five respondents listed “job challenges” as their most important social issue. (Included in this category were responses related to economic growth, poverty, quality jobs, and living wage jobs.) Numerous respondents stated that “our future depends on” a sustainable, supportive economy. Increased availability of jobs was listed most commonly as the potential improvement/change with the most impact – this included taking efforts to create/increase the number of jobs, supporting a living wage, and supporting small/local/new businesses. Housing was also mentioned as a change that could positively impact jobs in our community.

– Health care, and mental health care specifically, were the next most cited issues. The challenges of finding, keeping, and accessing quality providers were commonly mentioned. Increasing available housing, increasing services, and incentivizing providers to come (and stay) were ideas that could provide the most impact.

– Homelessness, youth services, and substance use disorders were the final three categories of respondents offered as the most important social issues in our southern coastal community.

This data is consistent with the interviews we conducted in partnership with SWOCC’s Upward Bound program this summer. Local high school students and United Way staff interviewed over 25 Coos Bay/North Bend leaders representing local government, non-profit organizations, service groups, health care, education, the faith community, and the business community. Interview participants named housing as the most important challenge facing our community, followed by jobs, homelessness, health care services, substance use disorders, and youth services.

This probably isn’t news to anyone. So, what are we going to do with this information? 

– We’ll soon be kicking off our 2020 Grant Allocation process, a funding program for Curry and Coos County 503(c)(3) non-profit organizations. This input will be taken into consideration by volunteer committee members who review grant applications, visit sites and talk to applicants and recommend grant funding allocations to our Board of Directors. 

– We’ll also take this back to our Coos County Housing Action Team and Curry County Housing Task Force. There is much work being done in the coastal housing arena, and it’s clear that we aren’t getting that information out to the greater community. Look for changes on that front in 2020!

– And, we’ll take this input to the Coos and Curry County Community Health Improvement Plan Coalitions. Members of those cross-sector coalitions are actively working on all of the challenges noted above, and in the coming months, we will look for ways to engage the community with the great work that is happening.

But YOU can do something with this information, too. There are many other organizations in our coastal community working to address these challenges. Here are some ways you can help:

GIVE: Donate to our Community Impact Grant Fund, or designate a donation through United Way to a local non-profit agency fighting for local resilience

ADVOCATE: Learn more and speak out on behalf of these initiatives

VOLUNTEER: Offer assistance with a project or a committee

 

Contact us for more information on any of these ways to help. United we fight, United we win!

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